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HARVARD  COLLEGE 
LIBRARY 


FROM  THE  LIBRARY  OF 
JEAN    SANCHEZ  ABREU 


C^e  CambrtDge  ^BDition  of  ti)e  ^mt0 


EDITED  BY 


HORACE  E.  SCUDDER 


KEATS 


BY  THE  EDITOR 


^^^^^^^^^J^^^H 

PC 

1 

THE   COMPLETE 

ETICAL  WORKS  AND  LETTERS  ( 

JOHN   KEATS 

CambriBgr  miiion 

BOSTON  AND  NEW  YORK 
HOUGHTON.  MIFFLIN  AND  COMPANY 

^M 

vi  EDITOR'S    NOTE 


rather  historical  and  bibliographical.  In  the  preparation  of  these  notes,  as  also  of 
the  Notes  and  Illustrations  in  the  Appendix,  I  must  again  acknowledge  my  great 
indebtedness  to  Mr.  Forman. 

In   undertaking  to  assemble  Keats's  Complete  Poetical  Works,  1  have  been 
aware  that  I  was  including  some  things  which  neither  Keats  nor  any  one  else 
would  call  poetical.     Tet  besides  the  contribution  which  verse  makes  to  beauty, 
there  is  also  the  light  which  it  throws  on  the  poetical  mind  and  character.     And 
since  the  volume  of  Keats's  production  is  not  large,  and  much  of  his  posthamons- 
poetry  is  rightly  classed  with  his  own  acknowledged  work,  it  seemed  best  to  giT^ 
everything,  but  to  make  the  natural  discrimination  between  the  poetry  in  the  bodjr' 
of  the  volume  and  that  which  follows  in  the  division.  Supplementary  Verse.     Th^ 
personality  of  Keats  is  so  vivid,  that  just  as  his  friends  in  his  lifetime  and  after* 
his  death  carefully  garnered  every  scrap  which  he  wrote,  so  the  friends  created, 
by  his  life  and  his  poetry  may  be  trusted  to  know  what  his  imperishable  verse  is^ 
and  yet  will  handle  affectionately  even  the  toys  he  played  with. 

Although  I  have  endeavored  to  draw  from  Keats's  letters  such  passages  as  throw 
direct  light  on  his  poetry,  there  yet  remains  an  undefined  scholia  in  the  whole  body 
of  his  familiar  correspondence.  No  attentive  reader  of  Keats's  letters  will  fail 
to  find  in  these  unstudied,  spontaneous  expressions  of  the  poet's  mind  a  lambent 
light  playing  all  over  the  surface  of  his  poetry,  and  therefore  it  is  not  a  wide 
departure  from  the  scheme  of  this  series  of  poets  to  include,  in  the  same  volams 
with  Keats's  poems,  a  collection  also  of  his  letters.  This  collection  is  completei 
though  one  or  two  brief  notes  will  not  be  found  here,  because  already  printed  in 
the  headings  to  poems.  I  have  been  dependent  for  the  text  mainly  upon  Mr. 
Colvin,  supplemented  by  the  minute  garnering  of  Mr.  Forman.  I  have  to  thank 
Mr.  John  Gilmer  Speed  for  his  courtesy  in  permitting  the  use  of  letters  which 
he  derived  from  the  papers  of  his  grandfather,  Greorge  Keats. 

Oambiudoe,  August,  1899. 


TABLE   OF  CONTENTS 


BIOGRAPHICAL  SKETCH 


TAOM 


POEMS 


EARLY  POEMS. 

ImTATiox  OF  Spbnsbr 

On  Death 

To  Chattebton 

To  Btbon 

*'  WOMAK  !  WHEir  I  BEHOLD  THEE  FIJP- 
PAWT,  VAIN  ' 

To  SoiCB  Ladies 

On  BECEiyiNO  A  Curious  Shell  and  a 

Copt  of  Vebses  from  the  Same  La- 

DIS8 

Wrttten  on  the  Day  that  Mr.  Leigh 

Hunt  left  Prison  .       .       .       . 

To  Hope 

Ode  to  Apollo 

Htxn  to  Apollo 

To  A  TouNQ  Ladt  who  sent  me  a 

Laurel  Crown        .... 
Sonnet  :  ^  How  many  bards  qild  the 

LAPSES  OF  time  ' 

Sonnet:  'Keen,  fitful  ousts  are 
whisp'rinq  here  and  there  * 

Spenserian  Stanza,  written  at  the 
Close  of  Canto  II.,  Book  V.,  of 
*  The  Faerie  Queene  *      .       .       . 

On  leayino    Some  Friends  at  an 

Early  Hour 

^    On  first  looking  into  Chapman^s 
Homer 

Epistle  to  George  Felton  Mathew 

To :  *  Hadst  thou  liv'd  in  days 

OF  old' 

Sonnet:  *As  from  the  darkening 

GLOOM  A  silver  DOVE '         .  .  . 

Sonnet  to  Solitude  .... 
Sonnet  :  *  To  one  who  has  been  long 

IN  city  pent  ' 

To  A  Friend  who  sent  me  Some  Roses 
Sonnet  :  *  Oh  !  how  I  love,  on  a  fair 

summer's  eve'         .... 

'  I  STOOD  tiptoe  upon  A  LITTLE  HILL ' 

Sleep  and  Poetry        .       .       .       • 
Epistle  to  my  Brother  George  . 
To  my  Brother  George     . 


1 
1 
2 
2 

2 
3 


6 
5 
6 
7 

7 

8 

8 

8 

9 

9 
9 

11 

12 
12 

13 
13 

13 
14 
18 
24 
26 


33 


33 


To 'Had  I  a  man's  fair  form, 

then  might  my  sighs '  ...       26 

Specimen  of  an  Induction  to  a 
Poem 27 

CauDORE:  a  f^GMENT     ...         28 

Epistle  to  Charles  Cowden  Clarke  30 
To  My  Brothers  .  ,  .  .  33 
Addressed    to    Benjamin     Robert 

Haydon. 

I.  'Great  spirits   now  ok  earth 

ARE  sojourning'       .... 
n.     '  HlOHMINDEDNESS,    A     JEALOUSY 
FOR  GOOD  ' 

To  Kosciusko 34 

To  G.  A.  W 34 

Stanzas:  'In  a  drear-niohted  De- 
cember'         34 

Written  in  Disgust  of  Vulgar  Su- 
perstition         35 

Sonnet  : '  Happy  is  England  1 1  could 

BE  content' 36 

On  the  Grasshopper  and  Cricket  35 
Sonnet  :  *  After  dark  vapours  have 

oppress'd  our  plains  '  .       .       .36 
Written  on  the  Blank  Space  at  the 
END  of  Chaucer's  Tale  of  'The 
Floure  and  the  Lefe'     .       .       .    36 
On  Seeing  the  Elgin  Marbles     . ,     36 
To  Haydon   (with    the  preceding 

sonnet) 36 

To  Leigh  Hunt,  Esq 37 

On  the  Sea 37 

Lines:  'Unfelt,  unheard,  unseen'     37 

On  'Think   not   of   it,   sweet 

ONE,  so' 38 

On  a  Picture  of  Leander  .  .  38 
On  Leigh  Hunt's  Poem  '  The  Story 

OF  Rimini  ' 38 

Sonnet  :  '  When  I  have  fears  that 

I  may  cease  to  be'  .  .  .  39 
On  seeing  a  Lock  of  Milton's  Hair  39 
On   sitting    down   to  read    '  King 

Lear'  once  again  ....  40 
Lines  on  the  Mermaid  Tavern    .       40 


Vlll 


TABLE  OF  CONTENTS 


Robin  Hood .41 

To  THE  Nile 41 

To  Spemseb 42 

SONO  WBITTBN    ON  A    BlANK  PaoE  IN 

Beaumont  and  Flbtcheb^s  Works 
BETWEEN  ^Cupid's  Reyenge'  and 
*  The  Two  Noble  Kinsmen  '        .       42 
Fragment  :  *  Welcome  Joy  and  wel- 
come Sorrow' 42 

What  the  Thrush  said   ...       43 
In  Answer  to  a  Sonnet  ending  thus  : 

*  Dark  eyea  are  dearer  far 
Than  thoM  that  mock  the  hyacinthine  belL*  .     43 

To  John  Hamilton  Reynolds    .       .    44 
The  Human  Seasons         ...       44 

ENDYMION 45 

THE  POEMS  OF  1818-1819. 

f   Isabella,  or  the  Pot  of  Basil     .      110 

To  Homer 119 

Fragment  of  an  Ode  to  Maia       .      119 
Song:  ^Hush,  hitshI  tread  softly! 

hush,  hush,  my  dear!'     .        .       .  120 
Verses  written  during  a  Tour  in 
Scotland. 
I.    On    Visiting    the    Tomb    of 

Burns 120 

II.    To  AiLSA  Rock  .       .       .       .121 
m.    Written    in    the    Cottage 

WHERE  Burns  was  born  .      121 
IV.    At  Fingal's  Cave    .       .       .122 
V.    Written   upon   the  Top  of 

Ben  Nevis  ....      123 
Translation  from  a  Sonnet  of  Ron- 
sard       123 

To  A  Lady  seen  for  a  Few  Moments 

AT  Vauxhall 123 

Fancy 124 

Ode:    *  Bards    of   Passion    and    of 

Mirth  ^ 125 

Song  :  *  I  had  a  dove  and  the  sweet 

DOVE  DIED* 125 

I    Ode  on  Melancholy  ....     126 
%  The  Eve  of  St.  Agnes  .        .  127 

Ode  on  a  Grecian  Urn    .       .       .      134 
Ode  on  Indolence        ....  135 
Sonnet:    *Why  did  I   laugh  to- 
night?   No  VOICE  WILL  tell'     .  137 

Ode  to  Fanny 137 

A  Dream,  after  reading  Dante's 

Episode  of  Paolo  and  Francesca  138 

La  Belle  Dame  sans  Merci   .       .  139 

Chorus  of  Fairies  ....      140 

Faery  Songs: 

I.  Shed   no   tear  I    O   shed   no 

tear! 141 


J 


II.  Ah  !  woe  is  me  I  poor  silver- 
wing!  141 

On  Fame 142 

Another  on  Fame  ....      142 

To  Sleep 142 

Ode  to  Psyche        .       .       ,       .142 
Sonnet  :   *  If  by  dull  rhymes  oub 

English  biust  be  chain'd'  .  .  144 
Ode  to  a  Nightingale  .  .  .  144 
Lamia 146 

DRAMAS. 

Otho  the  Great  :  a  tragedy  in  five 
ACTS 158 

King  Stephen:  a  dramatic  frag- 
ment       192 

THE  EVE  OF  ST.  MARK         .       .      196 
HYPERION:  A  FRAGMENT        .       .  198 

TO  AUTUMN 213 

VERSES  TO  FANNY  BRAWNE. 

Sonnet:  *The  day  is  gone  and  all 
ITS  sweets  are  gone'       .       .       .  214 

Lines  to  Fanny 214 

To  Fanny:    'I  cry   your  mercy  — 

PITY  —  LOVE  —  AY,  LOVE  ! '  .  .  216 

THE   CAP   AND   BEU^;   OR,    THE 
JEALOUSIES 216 

THE  LAST  SONNET      .        .        .        .232 

SUPPLEMENTARY  VERSE. 

I.  Hyperion:  a  Vision     ,       .       .      233 
II.  Fragments: 

I.  *  Where's  the    Poet?   show 

him!  show  him'    .       .        .  2;{8 
n.  Modern  Love         .       .       .     238 
ni.  Fragment    of    'The    Castle 

Builder' 239 

rV.  Extracts  from  an  Opera  : 

*0!  were  i  one  of  the 

Olympian  twelve'  .  239 
Daisy's  Song  ....  239 
Folly's  Song        .       .       .     240 

*0h,   I  AM   FRIGHTEN'd  WITH 
most  hateful  THOUGHTS  !  '   240 

Song  :        *  The       stranger 

lighted  from  his  steed '  240 
*  Asleep  !  O  sleep  a  little 

WHILE,   WHITE  PEARL !  '         .  240 

ni.  Familiar  Verses  : 
Stanzas  to  Miss  Wylie    .       .       .      240 
Epistle    to    John   Hamilton    Rey- 
nolds      240 

A  Draught  of  Sunshine  .       .       .      242 
At  Teignmouth 242 


TABLE  OF  CONTENTS 


IX 


To  DiTOX  Maid  ....  243 
AcBO0nc:GBOBoiANAAaou8TA  Keats  243 
Meo  MnouiJES 243 

A  2)0X0  ABOUT  JCrSSLF  .       244 

To  TwnfAfl  Kkats 245 

ThiOadflt 245 

(hr  HBABiyo  thk  Bagpipe  Aim  sseino 

*ThB  StKAHOER  '  PLATED  AT  InYEB- 
AMT         .......  246 

Lms  writtek  in  the   Highlands 

AiTEB  A  Visit  to  Burns^s  Country  24(5 
Mis.  Cameron  and  Ben  Nevis       .     247 


Sharing  Eve^s  Apple  ....  248 
A  Prophecy:  to  George  Keats  in 

America     ......     249 

A  Little  Extempore    ....  249 

Spenserian  Stavzab  on  Charles  Ar- 

MiTAOE  Brown        ....     250 

*Two  OR  three  Posies'      .       .       .251 

A  Party  of  Lovers  ....     251 

To  George  Keats:  written  in  sick- 
ness        251 

On  Oxford  , 252 

To  A  Cat 252 


^   LETTERS 


1.  Chielbs  Cowden  Clarke October  31, 1816     . 

'  Tie  Same December  17, 1816 

3>  JoHK  Hasulton  Reynolds March  2,  1817    .    . 

i  The  Same March  17,  1817      . 

^  GioEOB  and  Thomas  Keats April  15,  1817    .    . 

&  John  Hamilton  Reynolds April  17, 1817  .    . 

:.  Lewh  Hunt May  10, 1817      .    . 

0^  Bduamin  Robert  Haydon May  10,  1817    .    . 

9.  MzMBs.  Taylor  and  Hf.ssey May  1(>,  1817      .    . 

K  The  Sa3ce July  8,  1817      .    . 

11-  Mariane  and  Jane  Reynolds September  5, 1817  . 

li  Fanny  Kfj^ts September  10, 1817 

I^  Jane  Reynolds September  14, 1817 

li  John  Hamilton  Reynolds September  21, 1817 

1^  The  Same September,  1817     . 

K  Benjamin  Robert  Haydon September  28, 1817 

17-  Benjamin  Bailey October  8,  1817  .    . 

K  The  Same November  1, 1817 

to.  The  Same November  5, 1817  . 

a>.  Charles  Wentworth  Dilke November,  1817    . 

il  Benjamin  Bailey November  22, 1817 

~  John  Hamilton  Reynolds  .......  November  22,  181* 

iX  Georue  and  Thomas  Keats December  22, 1817 

?i  The  Same January  5,  1818 

25.  Benjamin  Robert  Haydon January  10,  1818    . 

3i.  John  Taylor January  10,  1818  . 

27.  George  and  Thomas  Keats January  13,  1818    . 

2S.  John  Taylor J;muary  23,  1818  . 

9.  George  and  Thomas  Keats January  23, 1S18    . 

3>.  Benjamin  Bailey January  23,  1818  . 

3].  John  Taylor January  30, 1818 

Jl  Jobs  Hamilton  Reynolds January  31, 1S18  . 

SI  The  Same  .        .  February  3,  1818    . 

U  John  Taylor February  5, 1  sis  . 

^  George  and  Thomas  Keats February  14,  Isis  . 

ifi.  John  Hamilton  Reynolds February  11»,  1818 

•T.  IfEORGE  AND  Thomas  Keats Febniarj'  21,  1818  . 

K  John  Taylor Februarj-  27,  ISIS 

'P.  Mewrs.  Taylor  and  Hessey March.  ISlS  .    .    . 

¥i  Bf.njamin  Bailey March  13,  ISIS     . 

(1  John  Uamiltov  Reynolds March  14, 1818  .    . 


.  255 

255 
.  255 

255 
.  250 

257 
.  258 

260 
.  2G2 

203 
.  263 

264 
.  265 

267 
.  269 

269 
.  270 

271 
.  273 

273 
.  273 

275 
.  276 

277 
.  279 

280 
.  2S0 

281 
.  281 

283 
.  284 

285 
.  285 

286 
.  2S<5 

287 
.  2S8 

2Si) 
.  2«»0 

2*»0 
.  2'.»2 


TABLE  OF  CONTENTS 


42.  BsNJAMiii  RoBEKT  Hatdon Maroh  21, 1818     . 

43.  Messrs.  Tatlob  Ain>  Hessbt March  21, 1818  . 

44.  Jaices  Rice Maroh  24, 1818 

40.  John  Hamilton  Retnoldb Maroh  25, 1818  . 

46.  Benjamin  Robebt  Hatdon April  8, 1818    .    . 

47.  John  Hamilton  Reynolds April  9, 1818 .    . 

48.  The  Same April  10, 1818  .    , 

49.  John  Tatlob April  24, 1818    . 

5a  John  Hamilton  Reynolds April  27, 1818  .    , 

51.  The  Same May  3, 1818  .    . 

52.  Mbs.  Jeffret May,  1818    .    .    . 

53.  Benjamin  Bailet May  28, 1818 .    . 

54.  Misses  M.  and  S.  Jeffbet June  4, 1818     .    . 

55.  Benjamin  Bailet  Jnne  10, 1818     . 

56.  John  Tatlob Juno  21, 1818    . 

57.  Thomas  Keats Jnne  29, 1818     . 

58.  Fannt  Keats Jnly  2, 1818  .    .    . 

50.  Thomas  Keats Jnly  2, 1818   .    . 

ea  The  Same Jnly  10, 1818     . 

61.  John  Hamilton  Retnolds Jnly  11, 1818 .    . 

62.  Thomas  Keats Jnly  17, 1818    .    . 

63.  Benjamin  Bailet Jnly  18, 1818 .    . 

64.  Thomas  Keats Jnly  23, 1818    .    . 

65.  The  Same Angrnst  3, 1818  . 

66.  Mbs.  Wtue • .  Angrnst  6, 1818 .    . 

67.  Fannt  Keats An«rnst  18, 1818 

68.  The  Same Angnat  25, 1818    . 

69.  Jane  Retnolds September  1, 1818 

70.  Chables  Wentworth  Dilke September  21, 1818 

71.  John  Hamilton  Retnolds September  22, 1818 

72.  Fannt  Keats October  9, 1818    . 

73.  James  Auoustus  Hesset October  9, 1818  . 

74.  Geoboe  and  Geoboiana  Keats October  13-31, 1818 

75.  Fannt  Keats October  16, 1818 

76.  The  Same October  26, 1818 

77.  RiCHABD  WooDHOUSE October  27, 1818 

78.  Fannt  Keats Noyember  5, 1818 

79.  James  Rice November  24, 1818 

80.  Fannt  Keats December  1, 1818  . 

81.  Geobge  and  Geoboiana  Keats December  18, 1818 

82.  Richard  Woodhouse December  18, 1818 

83.  Mrs.  Retnolds December  22, 1818 

84.  Benjamin  Robert  Hatdon December  22, 1818 

85.  John  Tatlor December  24, 1818 . 

86.  Benjamin  Robert  Hatdon December  27, 1818 

87.  Fannt  Keats December  30, 1818 

88.  Benjamin  Robert  Hatdon Jannary  4, 1819    . 

89.  The  Same Jannary  7,  1819 

9a  The  Same January,  1819  .    . 

91.  Fannt  Keats Jannary,  1819    .    . 

92.  Charles  Wentworth  Dilke  and  Mrs.  Dilke     .       .  Jannary  24, 1819  . 

93.  Fannt  Keats Febmary  11, 1819  . 

94.  Geobge  and  Geoboiana  Keats Febmary  14, 1819 

95.  Fannt  Keats Febmary  27, 1819 

96.  Benjamin  Robebt  Hatdon Maroh  8, 1819  .    . 

97.  Fannt  Keats March  13, 1819  .    . 

98.  The  Same March  24, 1819     . 


.  298 


.  207 


308 
803 
804 
806 
806 
807 

aoB 

310 
812 
314 
316 
318 
320 
322 
324 
328 
326 
326 
326 
327 
328 
328 
320 
336 
336 
336 
337 
337 
338 
338 
348 
340 
340 
348 
349 
350 
350 
350 
351 
351 
351 
352 
353 
371 
371 
372 
373 


I 


TABLE  OF  CONTENTS  xi 

99.  J08KPH  Sevbrn Maioh  29  (?),  1819  .    .    .373 

100.  Bknjajon  Robkbt  Hatdon April  13, 1819  ....    373 

101.  Fakkt  KsATS Aprill3, 1819     .    .    .    .  374 

102.  Thb  Saxb April  17, 1819  ....    375 

103.  Ths  Sahb May  13, 1819      ....  375 

104.  William  HAgLAM May  13, 1819    ....    375 

106.  Fankt  Kbats May  26, 1819      ....  376 

106.  M188  Jeffkst May  31, 1819    ....    376 

107.  The  Sajob June  9, 1819 377 

108.  Faknt  Keats Jnne  9, 1819      ....    378 

109.  James  Elmbs June  12, 1819     ....  378 

110.  FAKirr  Keats June  14, 1819   ....    379 

lU.  The  Same June  16, 1819     ....  379 

112.  Benjamin  Robert  Hatdon June  17, 1819  ....    379 

113.  Fanny  Bbawne July  3, 1819 380 

114.  Fanny  Keats July  6, 1819      ....    381 

115.  Fanny  Bbawne July  8, 1819 382 

116.  John  Hamilton  Reynolds July  11, 1819    ....    382 

U7.  Fanny  Bbawne July  15,1819 383 

11».  The  Same July  27,  1819    ....    384 

119.  Charles  Wentworth  Dilke July  31, 1819      ....  385 

120.  Fanny  Bbawne August  9,  1819      ...    386 

121.  Benjamin  Bailey August  15, 1819      .    .    .  387 

122.  Fanny  Bbawne August  16, 1819    ...    388 

123.  John  Taylor August  23, 1819      ...  389 

134.  John  Hamilton  Reynolds August  25, 1819    .    .    .    390 

125.  Fanny  Keats August  28, 1819      ...  390 

12s.  John  Taylor September  1,  1819    .    .    392 

137.  The  Same September  5, 1819      .    .  392 

128.  Fanny  Brawne September  14, 1819  .    .    393 

129.  George  and  Geoboiana  Keats September  17, 1819    .    .  394 

130. 407 

131.  John  Hamilton  Reynolds September  22, 1819     .    .  407 

132.  Charles  Wentworth  Dilke September  22, 1819   .    .    409 

133.  Charles  Armitaoe  Brown September  23, 1819     .    .  410 

134.  The  Same September  23, 1819  .    .    411 

135.  Charles  Wentworth  Dilke October  1,  1819      .    .    .412 

136.  Benjamin  Robert  Haydon October  3, 1819     ...    412 

137.  Fanny  Bbawne October  11, 1810     ...  413 

138.  The  Same October  13,  1819  ...    413 

139.  Fanny  Keats October  16, 1819     .    .    .414 

140.  Fanny  Bbawne October  19, 1819  ...    414 

141.  Joseph  Severn October  27, 1819     .    .    .415 

142.  John  Taylor Noyember  17, 1819   .    .    415 

143^  Fanny  Keats November  17, 1819     .    .  416 

144.  Joseph  Severn December  6, 1819     .    .    416 

145.  James  Rice December,  1819      .    .    .416 

146.  Fanny  Keats December  20, 1819    .    .    417 

147.  The  Same December  22,  1819      .    .  418 

14&  Georoiana  Augusta  Exeats January  13, 1820  ...    418 

149L  Fanny  Brawne        .       .       .       .        ', 423 

150.  Fanny  Keats February  6, 1820  ...    423 

151.  The  Same February  8, 1820    ...  424 

152.  Fanny  Brawne 424 

163.  The  Same 424 

154.  Fanny  Keats February  11, 1820     .    .    425 

155.  The  Same February  14, 1820   ...  425 


xii  TABLE  OF  CONTENTS 

136-  Famnt  Brawke 

167.  Thb  Samm '  _ 

158.  The  Sa^e ' 

109.  JAKES  Rice Pebnur;  16, 1820  . 

lea  Famnt  Keats Febniar;  19. 1830 

161-  Paknt  Bbawme 

162.  The  Same 

163.  The  Same '  . 

IW.  JoHB  Hamiltom  Rktmoum FebrnarrSS,  1820 

IfiO.  Fasby  Bkawnb 

166.  Fanny  Kkats Febnury  24, 1820 

167.  Fannt  Bkawne 

168.  The  Samb 

160.  Thb  Same 

170.  The  Same 

171.  The  Same 

172.  The  Same 

173.  CnABLEa  Wektwobth  Diucb March  4,  1820    .    . 

174.  Fanjjt  Bbawnk 

175.  The  Same 

176.  Thb  Same 

177.  The  Samk 

17H,  Fannt  Keats Uuvli  20, 1820 

179,  FANur  Brawnb 

180.  The  Sahk 

181.  The  Sake 

182.  Famby  Keatb April  1,  lti20     .    . 

183,  Thb  Same April,  1820    .    .    . 

184,  Thb  Same April  12, 1820  .    . 

180.  Tbb  Same April  21,  1820    .    . 

186.  The  Same May  4,  1820      .    . 

187.  Cbableh  Wkktworth  D:lkb May,  iR2i)     .    ,    . 

188.  Panns  Bkawne 

189.  The  Same 

190.  The  Same 

191.  John  TaVIJJB June  11,  1820      ,     . 

192.  {.'hablbw  Aiimjtac.e  Beown June,  1820   .    ,    , 

193.  Fanny  Kbats Jnne  20, 1820     ,    , 

194.  Fanny  Bkawne 

195.  Fanny  Keats Jnly  5,  1820   .    .    . 

196.  Benjamin  Robert  Haydoh Jnly,  1820      .    .    . 

197.  Fanny  Keats Jnly  22,  1820   .    . 

198.  Fanst  Bkawne .... 

109.  Tui   >\\(i  

SCO.   l•'^^^v  Kh.iT.-n Augnst  14,  1820      , 

201.  J'y.RisY  iiy-mi:  SHELi,Er AuKust,  1820    ,    . 

302.  Joan  Tay[J)R Angmt  14. 1820 

303.  Bexjajun  Robeut  Hatdon Angiut,  1820    .    , 

304.  JoBK  Taylor  Angiut  m,  isso 

son.  Charlen  AuMiTAiii:  Brovn Au^uit.  I82(j    .    . 

206.  F.4»v  K].A^,^  August  33.  ISSO      , 

207.  Charles  AmnTAaE  Bhown AuEiut.  1820 

we.  Seplpn)bM,1820    . 

309,  Charles  Abmitaoe  Brown .Septeniher  28,  1830 

210,  Mrs.  Brawne Oploher  24,  1630     , 

211,  Charles  Armitaoe  Brown NoreinbtT  1, 1820 

812,  The  Sane November  .10, 1820 


TABLE  OF   CONTENTS 


Xlll 


NOTES  AND  ILLUSTRATIONS. 

I.  Poems 451 

n.  Lettsbs 459 

BIBUOGRAPHICAL  LIST  OF  KEATS'S  POEMS 463 

INDEX  OF  FIRST  LINES 465 

INDEX  OF  TITLES 467 

INDEX  TO  LETTERS 471 

NoTB.  The  frontispiece  is  a  photogravure  by  John  Andrew  and  Son  from  a  painting  made  by 
JoMph  Seyem  in  his  old  age  after  the  picture  painted  by  him  in  his  youth.  The  painting  was  in 
the  possession  of  the  hite  John  W.  Field,  Esq.,  and  is  now  the  property  of  Williams  College,  by 
vlioie  courtesy  this  copy  was  made. 

The  vignette  is  from  a  portrait  by  the  same  artist  in  the  National  Portrait  Grallery,  London. 


I 


BIOGRAPHICAL  SKETCH 

John  Keats  was  bom  in  Finsbiuy,  London,  on  either  the  29th  or  the  Slst  of 
October,  1795.      He  died  in  an  apartment  overlooking  the  Piazza  di   Spagna, 
Borne,  February  23, 1821.     Thus  his  life  was  a  brief  span  of  a  few  months  more 
than  twenty-five  years^  and  as  his  first  acknowledged  verses  were  written  in  the 
autumn  of  1813,  and  his  last  sonnet  was  composed  in  the  autumn  of  1820,  his 
pMticaljcs^er jwiusjie^en  years. lojigf     Within  that  time  he  composed  the  verses     r 
included  in  this  volume,  yet  by  far  the  largest  portion  may  be  referred  to  the  three 
years  1818-1820,  and  if  one  distilled  the  whole,  the  precious  deposit  would  be  but  < 
a  few  hundred  lines.     I!dr  all  that,  perhaps  because  of  it,  and  because  Keats  with  ' 
his  warm  human  passion  wrote  what  is  almost  an  autobiography  in  his  letters,  we 
are  able  to  get  a  tolerably  clear  notion  of  his  early  training  and  associations,  and 
to  follow  quite  closely  the  development  of  his  nature  after  he  began  to  devote  him- 
self  to  poetry. 

His  father,  Thomas  Keats,  was  not  a  Londoner  by  birth,  but  came  from  the 
country  to  the  town  early,  and  was  head  hostler  in  a  livery  stable  before  he  was 
twenty.  He  married  Frances  Jennings,  the  daughter  of  his  master,  who  thereupon 
retired  from  business,  leaving  it  in  the  hands  of  his  son-in-law.  The  young  couple 
lived  over  the  stable  at  first,  but  when  their  family  increased,  they  removed  to  a 
house  in  the  neighborhood.  John  Keats  was  the  first  born.  He  had  two  brothers 
and  a  sister  who  grew  to  maturity.  George  Keats  was  sixteen  months  his  junior ; 
Thomas  was  four  years  younger,  and  Fanny,  who  was  bom  in  1803,  was  a  girl  of 
ten  when  John  Keats  was  making  his  first  serious  ventures  in  poetry. 

The  little  that  is  known  of  Keats's  parents  is  yet  sufficient  to  show  them  persons 
of  generous  qualities  and  lively  temperament.  They  were  prosperous  in  their 
lives,  and  meant  to  better  the  condition  of  their  children,  so  they  sent  the  boys  to 
good  schools.  The  father  died  when  John  Keats  was  in  his  tenth  year,  and  his 
mother  shortly  after  married  a  man  who  appears  to  have  been  her  husband's  suc- 
cessor in  business  as  well  as  in  affections,  but  the  marriage  proved  an  unhappy 
one ;  there  was  a  separation,  and  the  stepfather  scarcely  came  into  the  boy's  life  to  , 
affect  him  for  good  or  for  ill.  He  was  still  a  school-boy,  npt  yet  fifteen,  when 
his  mother  died,  and  he  grieved  for  her  with  the  force  of  a  passionate  nature  that 
through  a  short  life  was  to  find  various  modes  of  expressing  its  keen  sensibility.      v 

As  Keats  went  early  to  school,  the  influences  which  came  most  forcibly  into  his 
boyhood  were  from  his  brothers  and  schoolmates.  Tom,  the  youngest  brother,  was 
always  frail.  Greorge,  who  was  nearer  John's  age,  was  like  him  in  spirit  and  more 
robust.  His  recollections  of  his  brothers,  written  after  both  Tom  and  John  had 
died,  are  frank  enough  to  make  the  relation  undoubtedly  truthful :  — 


'\ 


xvi  JOHN  KEATS 


*  I  loved  him  [John]  from  hoyhood,  even  when  he  wronged  me,  for  the  good- 
ness of  his  heart  and  the  nobleness  of  his  spirit.  Before  we  left  school  we  quar- 
relled often,  and  fought  fiercely,  and  I  can  safely  say  and  my  schoolfellows  will 
bear  witness,  that  John's  temper  was  the  cause  of  all,  still  we  were  more  attached 
than  brothers  ever  are.  From  the  time  we  were  boys  at  school,  where  we  loved, 
jangled  and  fought  alternately,  until  we  separated  in  1818,  I  in  a  great  measure 
relieved  him  by  continual  sympathy,  explanation  and  inexhaustible  spirits  and 
good  humor,  from  many  a  bitter  fit  of  hypochondriasm.  He  avoided  teasing  any 
one  with  his  miseries  but  Tom  and  myself,  and  often  asked  our  forgiveness ;  vent- 
ing and  discussing  them  gave  him  relief.' 

The  school  which  the  boys  attended  was  kept  by  the  Rev.  John  Clarke  at  En- 
field, and  a  son  of  Mr.  Clarke  was  Charles  Cowden  Clarke,  the  '  ever  young- 
hearted'  as  his  happy-natured  wife  calls  him,  who  was  seven  or  eight  years  the 
senior  of  John  Keats,  but  became  his  intimate  friend  and  remained  such  through 
his  life.  Clarke's  own  reminiscence  of  his  friend  seems  to  fill  out  Greorge  Keats's 
sketch :  — 

'  He  was  a  favorite  with  all.  Not  the  less  beloved  was  he  for  having  a  highly 
pugnacious  spirit,  which  when  roused  was  one  of  the  most  picturesque  exhibitions 
—  off  the  stage  —  I  ever  saw.  .  .  .  His  passion  at  times  was  almost  ungovemap 
ble ;  and  his  brother  Greorge,  being  considerably  the  taller  and  stronger,  used  fre- 
quently to  hold  him  down  by  main  force,  laughing  when  John  was  in  one  of  his 
moods,  and  was  endeavoring  to  beat  him.  It  was  all,  however,  a  wisp-of-straw 
conflagration ;  for  he  had  an  intensely  tender  affection  for  his  brothers,  and  proved 
it  upon  the  most  trying  occasions.  He  was  not  merely  the  favorite  of  all,  like  a 
pet  prize-fighter,  for  his  terrier  courage ;  but  his  highmindedness,  his  utter  uncon- 
sciousness of  a  mean  motive,  his  placability,  his  generosity,  wrought  so  general  a 
feeling  in  his  behalf  that  I  never  heard  a  word  of  disapproval  from  any  one,  supe- 
rior or  equal,  who  had  known  him.' 

'^^J^^^iL^.U.Joo^  .^RT^}^..^P^  any  signs  of  a  polemic  nature  in  Keats's  verse, 
but  it  is  easy  enough  to  find  witness  to  his  moodiness,  as  in  such  a  sonnet  as  that 
beginning;-^ 

*  Why  did  I  laugh  to-night  ?     No  voice  will  tell,' 

and  of  the  ungovernable  passion  there  is  evidence  enough  in  his  later  life,  though 
it  took  then  another  form.  Tet  the  boyish  impulsiveness  which  had  its  rude  ex- 
pression in  animal  spirits  turned  in  youth  into  a  headlong  eagerness  for  books 
before,  during,  and  after  school  hours.  According  to  Charles  Cowden  Clarke  he 
won  all  the  literature  prizes  of  the  school,  and  took  upon  himself  for  fun  the  trans- 
lation of  the  entire  ^neid  into  prose.  He  read  voraciously,  and  the  same  friend 
says :  '  In  my  mind's  eye  I  now  see  him  at  supper,  sitting  back  on  the  form  from 
the  table,  holding  the  folio  volume  of  Burnet's  History  of  his  Own  Time  between 
himself  and  the  table,  eating  his  meal  from  behind  it.  This  work,  and  Leigh 
Hunt's  Examiner^  which  my  father  took  in,  and  I  used  to  lend  to  Keats  —  no 


BIOGRAPHICAL   SKETCH  xvii 


doubt  laid  the  foundation  of  his  love  of  civil  and  religious  liberty.*  Still  more 
definite  in  its  relation  to  his  art  was  the  intimate  acquaintance  he  then  formed  with 
Tooke's  JPantheon  and  Lempri^re's  Dictionary. 

The  death  of  Keats's  mother  brought  an  interruption  to  his  schooling.  The 
grandmother^  who  was  still  living,  created  a  trust  for  the  benefit  of  the  Keats  chil- 
dren, and  committed  its  care  to  two  guardians,  one  of  whom,  Mr.  Richard  Abbey, 
was  the  active  trustee,  and  though  the  fund  seems  to  have  been  reasonably  suffi- 
cient to  protect  the  young  people  against  the  ordinary  demands  for  a  living,  both 
John  and  George  Keats  seem  always  to  have  been  sorely  pinched  for  means.  Mr. 
Abhey  at  once  removed  John  Keats  from  school  and  had  him  apprenticed  to  a 
surgeon,  Mr.  Hammond,  for  a  term  of  five  years.  Mr.  Hammond  lived  at  Edmon- 
ton, not  far  from  Enfield,  and  Keats  was  wont  to  walk  over  to  the  Clarkes'  once  a 
or  oftener  to  see  his  friends  and  borrow  books. 
He  was  just  fifteen  when  he  began  thus  to  equip  himself  for  a  place  in  the  world, 
for  a  little  more  than  five  years  he  was  in  training  for  the  practice  of  medicine 
and  surgery.  His  apprenticeship  to  Mr.  Hammond  did  not  last  as  long  as  this,  for 
the  indentures  were  cancelled  about  a  year  before  the  term  expired,  but  Keats  then 
up  to  London  to  continue  his  studies  at  St.  Thomas's  and  Guy's  hospitals. 
passed  with  credit  his  examination  as  licentiate  at  Apothecaries'  Hall,  July  26, 
1815,  and  received  an  appointment  at  Guy's  in  the  March  following.  It  does  not 
appear  exactly  when  he  abandoned  his  profession.  It  may  be  said,  with  some 
troth,  that  he  never  actually  abandoned  it  in  intention ;  he  held  it  in  reserve  as 
a  possible  resort,  but  it  seems  doubtful  if  he  ever  took  up  the  practice  for- 
TomSly  outside  the  walls  of  the  hospital.  Once  when  his  friend  Charles  Cowden 
C3arke  asked  him  about  his  attitude  toward  his  profession,  he  expressed  his  grave 
doubt  if  be  should  go  on  with  it.  ^  The  other  day,'  he  said  to  him,  *•  during 
the  lecture,  there  came  a  sunbeam  into  the  room,  and  with  it  a  whole  troop  of 
ereatares  floating  in  the  ray ;  and  I  was  off  with  them  to  Oberon  and  fairy  land.' 
*  My  hut  operation,'  he  told  another  man,  *  was  the  opening  of  a  man's  temporal 
artery.  I  did  it  with  the  utmost  nicety,  but  reflecting  on  what  passed  through  my 
mind  at  the  time,  my  dexterity  seemed  a  miracle,  and  I  never  took  up  the  lancet 


I 
I 


It  may  be  assumed  that  not  later  than  the  summer  of  1816,  when  Keats  was 
i^proacbing  his  majority,  he  laid  aside  his  instruments,  never  to  resume  them.  It. 
is  not  easy  to  reckon  the  contribution  which  these  years  of  study  and  of  brief 
practice  in  the  medical  art  made  to  his  intellectual,  much  less  to  his  poetical 
derelopment.  With  his  active  mind  he  no  doubt  appropriated  some  facts  —  per- 
haps we  owe  to  his  studies  some  lines  in  his  verse,  as  that  in  '  Isabella,'  where  in 
dsseribing  the  Ceylon  diver  contributing  to  the  brothers'  wealUi,  he  says  :  — 

'  For  them  his  ears  gnsh'd  blood ; ' 

but  it  is  more  probable  that,  like  many  another  young  student,  he  went  through  his 
tasks  with  sufficient  fidelity  to  secure  proper  credit,  but  without  any  of  that  devo- 


xviii  JOHN   KEATS 


tion  which  is  the  oiily  real  *  learning  by  heart.'  It  is  more  to  the  purpose  that 
during  the  years  in  which  he  was  forming  his  mental  habits,  he  was  steadied  by 
intellectual  exercise  while  he  was  obeying  instinctively  the  voice  which  was  calling 
him  more  and  more  loudly. 

The  actual  record  of  his  poetry  up  to  this  date  of  the  summer  of  1816  is  not 
extensive,  but  it  is  indicative  of  his  growing  power,  of  his  taste  in  reading  and 
observation,  of  his  companionship,  and  most  notably  of  his  consciousness  of  the 
poetic  spirit.     Along  with  a  few  pieces  like  the  lines  *•  To  Some  Ladies,'  which, 
show  how  little  skill  he  had  in  making  poetry  a  mere  parlor  maid,  there  are  poemak 
which  show  how  he  was  struggling  to  do  what  other  poets  have  done,  as  the  line^ 
*  To  Hope '  and  the  *  Ode '  and  '  Hymn  to  Apollo.'     The  lines  *  To  Hope,'  with  alB. 
their  formal  use  of  poetic  conventions,  have  an  interest  from  the  attempt  he  make^ 
at  using  the  instrument  he  most  highly  valued  in  expressing  his  own  moods  and  thalb 
youthful  fervor  which  found  a  suburban  Hampden  in  Leigh  Hunt.    His  f riendshif^ 
with  Hunt  was  in  part  founded  on  an  admiration  for  the  political  hissing  whiclv. 
Hunt  and  his  friends  kept  up,  and  which  was  translated  by  his  own  independence 
•of  spirit  into  a  valiant  revolutionary  sound,  but  more  on  an  appreciation  of  Hunt'^ 
good  taste  in  literature,  his  enjoyment  of  the  Elizabethans  and  Milton,  and  his 
literary  temper.     Hunt  was  more  of  a  public  figure  than  Clarke  or  Reynolds 9 
James  Rice,  Mathew,  or  any  other  of  Keats's  chosen  companions,  but  the  basis  of 
Keats's  friendship,  apart  from  his  brothers,  was  a  community  of  literary  taste 
more  even  than  of  literary  production.     It  is  a  pleasure  to  get  such  glimpses  as 
we  do  of  this  coterie  exchanging  books,  revelling  in  their  discovery  of  great  authors 
who  had  been  wrapped  in  thet  lerecloth  of  an  antique  speech,  and  celebrating  their 
own  admiration  of  these  bards  that  'gild  the  lapses  of  time.'     It  was  not  the 
Examiner  that  filled  Keats's  mind,  it  was  Spenser  and  Milton,  Chapman  and 
C!haucer,  and  when  he  came  away  from  Hunt's  cottage,  *  brimful  of  the  friendli-    ' 
ness '  he  there  had  found,  it  was  of  Lycidas  and  Petrarch  and  Laura  that  he  sang    \ 
as  he   fared   on  foot  in  the  cool  bleak  air.      In  his  'Epistle  to  George  Felton 
Mathew,'  it  is  poetry  and  the  brotherhood  which  springs  from  poetry  that  prompt 
the  expression  of  friendship,  and  there  is  no  prettier  tale  in  literary  friendship 
than  that  which  shows  Keats  and  Clarke  sitting  up  through  the  night  reading 
Chapman's  Homer,  and  Keats  in  the  morning  sending  his  friend  the  well-turned 
sonnet  which  has  been  the  key  that  unlocks  Chapman  to  many  readers. 

These  early  verses  thus  are  full  of  Keats's  personal  history,  for  he  was  living  jp    , 
the  land  of  fancy  and  was  rejoicing  in  the  companionship  of  lovers  of  that  land ;.. 
but  they  are  also  witnesses  to  the  feeling  which  he  had  for  nature.     It  is  true  the 
flinging  of  himself  on  the  grass,  after  being  pent  up  in  the  city,  is  to  read  some 
*'  debonair  and  gentle  tale  of  love  and  languishment,'  and  a  fair  summer's  eve 
suggests  thoughts  of  Milton's  fate  and  Sydney's  bier ;  nevertheless,  these  expres*    '. 
sions  occur  in  the  constricted  sonnet.     When  Keats  allows  himself  freedom  and 
the  rush  of  spontaneous  emotion,  as  in  the  lines  '  I  stood  tiptoe  upon  a  little  hill,' 
the  reflection  of  nature  in  mythology  and  poetry  is  merely  incidental  to  the  joyous 


BIOGRAPHICAL   SKETCH  xix 


n  nature  itself,  a  delight  so  genuine  that  it  almost  covers  from  sight  the 
mal,  half  negligent  beadroll  of  poetic  subjects.     Keats  was  born_  almost 
oand  of  Bowbells,  but  his  school  days  and  early  youth  were  spent  in  the  y  >  / 
riions  of  Enfield  and  Kdmonton,  and  he  escaped  often  from  the  city  to  ■    s^ 
ead,  not  merely  for  companionship,  but  because  there  the  nightingale  sang,     ^^ 
■e  the  walk  in  the  woods  or  the  stroU  on  the  heath  brought  him  face  to\T/ 
h  the  solitude  which  yielded  indeed  in  his  mind  to  pleasant  converse,  yet 
he  knew  well,  the  direct  road  to  converse  with  nature.     Perhaps,  in  the 

stood  tiptoe,'  it  is  the  close  and  loving  observation  of  nature  which  first 
»ne*8  attention,  but  a  nearer  scrutiny  quickly  reveals  that  imaginative  ren-  ' 
rhich  lifts  these  lines  far  above  the  level  of  descriptive  poetry.     If  in  some  ' 
Isworth's  sketches  from  nature  written  when  he  was  of  the  same  age  one 

a  profounder  consciousness  of  human  personality  and  a  deeper  sense  of  / 
d  relations,  one  is  aware  also  of  longer  stretches  of  purely  descriptive 
rith  Keats  there  is  an  instant  alchemy  by  which  all  sights  and  sounds  are 
ted  into  the  elements  of  a  poetic  world, 
ia  poem  goes  on  it  trembles  into  a  half  dreamy  rapture  of  the  poet  away 

scenes  into  the  world  of  visions,  but  it  is  in  ^  Sleep  and  Poetry,'  written 
tly  at_about  the  same  time,  that  we  discover  a  more  precise  witness  to  the 
lads  now  well  formed  in  Keats's  mind.  The  poet  placed  this  piece  last  in 
printed  volume,  as  if  he  intended  to  make  it  his  personal  apology.  It  is  in 
impassioned  plea  for  die  freedom  of  imagination  as  against  the  artifices  of 
ioTof  Pope^^but  even  when  thus  half  formally  reciting  his  creed,  Keats 
ow  litde  of  the  dogmatist  there  was  in  I      nature,  how  litUe  even  of  the 

the  careless  wandering  of  his  own  poem,  and  the  unconscious  expression 
m  delight  in  everything  that  is  beautiful  in  nature  or  art ;  so  that  as  he 
is  eye  takes  in  the  walls  of  the  room  where  he  lies,  and  he  falls  to  versify- 
contents.  He  thrills  with  the  consciousness  of  being  a  poet,  and  flashes 
}  prospect  of  what  he  may  do,  yet  at  present  what  he  does  is  rather  the 
'  of  a  poedc  nature  than  the  studied  product  of  an  artist. 
loems  which  precede  ^  Endymion '  are  many  of  them  chiefly  interesting  for 
I  they  give  thus  of  a  nature  which  was  gathering  itself  for  a  large  leap, 
-e,  aa  the  reader  will  see,  tentative  excursions  into  the  airy  region,  and  they 
besides  litde  witnesses  to  some  of  the  important  compelling  influences  which 
ming  Keats*s  mind.  Thus  the  sonnets  to  Haydon  illustrate  Keats*s  recog- 
f  Wordsworth,  and  also  the  great  impression  made  upon  him  by  the  intro- 
which  Haydon  gave  him  to  Greek  art.  They  bear  evidence,  too,  of  his 
]g  study  of  Shakespeare  and  of  his  admiration  for  Milton,  whose  minor 
sem  at  this  time  to  have  exercised  much  influence  over  his  style.  Hunt's 
)  can  be  seen  in  the  poems,  but  more  indirecdy  than  directly,  for  Hunt 

fine  taste  had  done  much  to  open  the  way  to  a  return  of  lovers  of  poetry 
MieiooB  days  of  Elizabeth.  The  poems  are  somedmes  exercises,  sometimes 
tions  of  a  poedc  mind,  and  they  have  a  rare  value  to  the  student  of  poetry. 


XX  JOHN   KEATS 


-^ 


as  they  disclose  the  mingling  of  great  poetic  traditions  with  the  bursts  of  a  poetic 
nature  which  was  itself  to  add  to  the  stock  of  great  English  verse. 

TbiP^/H^f^J^^^.J^yP^*^.  spAce  between  Keats's  abandonment  of  his  profession 
and  his  occupation  upon  a  long  and  serious  poem.     The  group  in  this  volume  enti- 

f  tied  *  Early  Poems '  gives  the  product  of  that  period.  That  is,  the  pieces  from  *•  I 
stood  tiptoe  upon  a  little  hill '  to  the  end  of  the  section  may  be  referred  to  this 
time,  and  the  first  one  may  fairly  be  taken  as  a  sort  of  prologue  to  his  adoption  of 
a_poetical  life.  When  he  was  writing  these  poems  he  was  living  much  with  his 
brothers,  to  whom  he  was  warmly  attached,  and  was  in  a  circle  of  ardent  friends, 
tmen  and  women.  He  was  an  animated  talker,  with  bursts  of  indignation,  and  a 
Pr^.  somewhat  to  moods  of  depression.  His  appearance  has  been  described  by 
many,  and  is  thus  summed  up  by  Mr.  Colvin :  ^  '  A  small,  handsome,  ardent-looking 
youth  —  the  stature  little  over  five  feet ;  the  figure  compact  and  well  turned,  with 
the  neck  thrust  eagerly  forward,  carrying  a  strong  and  shapely  head  set  off  by 
thickly  clustering  gold-brown  hair ;  the  features  powerful,  finished,  and  mobile ;  the 
mouth  rich  and  wide,  with  an  expression  at  once  combative  and  sensitive  in  the 
extreme ;  the  forehead  not  high,  but  broad  and  strong ;  the  eyebrows  nobly  arched, 
and  eyes  hazel-brown,  liquid-flashing,  visibly  inspired  —  *'  an  eye  that  had  an  in- 
ward look,  perfectly  divine,  like  a  Delphian  priestess  who  saw  visions." ' 

Keats  was  in  London  and  its  neighborhood  during  most  of  this  year,  but  after 
the  publication  of  his  first  volume  of  poems  he  went  to  the  Isle  of  Wight  and  later 
to  the  seashore,  and  soon  began  to  occupy  himself  with  his  serious  labor  of 
'  Endymion.'  While  he  was  working  upon  this  poem  he  wrote  but  few  verses.  His 
letters,  however,  show  him'  inmiersed  in  literature  and  the  friendships  which  with 
him  were  so  identified  with  literature,  and  kept,  moreover,  in  a  state  of  restless- 
ness by  what  in  homely  phrase  may  be  termed  the  growing  pains  of  his  poetic 
nature.  '  I  went  to  the  Isle  of  Wight,'  he  writes  to  Leigh  Hunt,  May  10, 1817, 
^  thought  so  much  about  poetry,  so  long  together,  that  I  could  not  get  to  sleep  at 
night ;  and,  moreover,  I  know  not  how  it  was,  I  could  not  get  wholesome  food. 
By  this  means,  in  a  week  or  so,  I  became  not  over  capable  in  my  upper  stories, 
and  set  off  pell  mell  for  Margate,  at  least  a  hundred  and  fifty  miles,  because, 
forsooth,  I  fancied  that  I  should  like  my  old  lodging  here,  and  could  contrive  to 
do  without  trees.  Another  thing,  I  was  too  much  in  solitude  and  consequently  was 
obliged  to  be  in  continual  burning  of  thought,  as  an  only  recourse.  However,  Tom 
is  with  me  at  present,  and  we  are  very  comfortable.  .  .  .  These  last  two  days  I 
have  felt  more  confident.     I  have  asked  myself  so  often  why  I  should  be  a  poet 

-  more  than  other  men,  seeing  how  great  a  thing  it  is,  —  how  great  things  are  to  be 
g^ed  by  it,  what  a  thing  to  be  in  the  mouth  of  Fame,  —  that  at  last  the  idea  has 
grown  so  monstrously  beyond  my  seeming  power  of  attainment,  that  the  other  day 
I  nearly  consented  with  myself  to  drop  Into  a  Phaethon.  Yet  't  is  a  disg^race  to 
fail,  even  in  a  huge  attempt ;  and  at  this  moment  I  drive  the  thought  from  me.' 
These  lines  were  written  when  Keats  was  deep  in  '  Endymion,'  and  with  others 

1  Keats  [Men  of  Letters  Series].    By  Sidney  Colvin. 


BIOGRAPHICAL   SKETCH  xxi 


lUejjDdmate  with  some  clearness  how  seriously  Keats  took  himself,  as.  Xh^.Ji^yiug 
IB.    Much  reading  of  great  poetry  had  set  standards  for  him  rather  than  furnished 
models.     It  is  not  difficult  to  trace  Keats's  indebtedness  to  other  poets,  so  far  as 
words  and  turns  of  expression  go,  yet  his  confessed  imitations  show  almost  as  con- 
elnsiTely  as  his  original  verse  how  incapable  he  was  of  merely  reproducing  out  of      J 
the  quarries  of  other  poetry  his  own  fair  buildings.     His  was  a  nature  possessed     '  ^ 
of  poetic  power,  yet  fed  more  than  usual  by  great  poetry.     That  he  should  have      '■. 
gone  by  turns  to  ancient  mythology  and  medieval  romance  for  his  themes,  and 
hgrejreated  both  in  a  spirit  of  romance,  was  due  to  a  large  artistic  endowment,^-  ^ 
wbidbbadehim  see  both  nature  and  humanity  as  subjects  for  composition,  furnish-  ^ 
mg  images  to  be  delighted  in.     He  was  conscious  of  poetic  genius,  and  never  more 
10  than  when  reading  great  poetry.     In  the  presence  of  Shakespeare  and  Spenser 
he  could  exclaim,  '  I  too  am  a  poet,'  and  this  was  no  mere  excitement  such  as 
harries  lesser  men  into  clever  copying,  but  an  exhilaration  which  sent  his  pulses 
bounding  as  his  own  conceptions  rose  fair   to   view.     It  was   obedience   to   this 
itrong  impulse  to  produce  a  great  work  of  art  which  led  him  to  sketch  *  Endymion ' 
and  try  his  powers  upon  an  attack  on  the  very  citadel  of  poetic  beauty.     Fame 
yaved  a  wreath  before  him,  yet  it  was  not  Fame  but  Poetry  that  really  urged  him 
forwud.     It  is  not  unfair  to  translate  even  a  confession  of  desire  for  fame  into 
Majtoowledgment  of  conscious  power. 

*  Endymion  *  was  published  in  the  spring  of  1818,  and  Keats's  own  attitude  to- 
vudhiswork  at  this  time  is  well  expressed  in  the  sonnet  ^  When  I  have  fears  that 
Ijtty  cease  to  ^e,^and  in  that  written  on  sitting  down  to  read  King  Lear  once 
•gun.  The  very  completion  of  his  task  set  free  new  fancies,  and  there  is  a  spon- 
taneity in  his  occasional  verse  and  in  his  letters  which  witnesses  to  a  rapid  matur-  y 
ingof  power  and  a  firmness  of  tread.  The  interesting  letter  to  Reynolds  of  Feb- ^f  -' 
3, 1818,  which  contains  a  spirited  criticism  of  Wordsworth  and  holds  the  ^^ 


SobbHoodverses,  is  quick  with  gay  strength,  and  shows  the  poet  alert  and  sane. 

The  publication  of  ^  Endymion '  was  an  important  event  to  Keats  and  his  circle. 

His  earlier  volume,  the  verses  which  he  had  since  written  and  shown,  and  his  own 

personality,  had  raised  great  expectations  among  his  near  friends  and  the  few  who 

coold  discern  poetry  without  waiting  for  the  poet  to  be  famous ;  and  now  he  was 

staking  all,  as  it  were,  upon  this  single  throw.     The  book  was  coarsely  and  roughly 

handled  by  the  two  leading  reviews  of  the  day,  Blackwood's  and  the  Quarterly. 

Critieism  in  those  days  was  far  from  impersonal.     A  poet  was  condemned  or 

praised,  not  for  his  work,  but  for  his  politics,  the  friends  he  associated  with,  his 

religion,  and  anything  in  his  private  life  which  might  be  known  to  the  reviewer. 

Keats  knew  the  worthlessness  of  much  of  this  criticism,  but  he  felt  nevertheless 

keenly  the  hostility  of  what,  rightly  or  wrongly,  was  looked  upon  as  the  supreme 

court  in  the  republic  of  letters. 

Under  other  circumstances  he  might  have  felt  this  even  more  keenly,  and  there 
appears  to  be  evidence  that  he  recurred  afterward  with  bitterness  to  the  attitude 
of  the  reviews ;  but  just  at  this  time  other  matters  filled  his  mind.     His  brother, 


xxii  JOHN  KEATS 


George  Keatej  with  his  wife,  went  to  America  to  try  fortune  in  the  new  world,  i 

Keats  immediately  afterward  took  a  long  walking  toar  in  the  north  with  his  M< 

Brown.     His  letters  and  the  few  poems  of  travel  he  wrote  show  how  ardently 

threw  himself  into  this  acquaintance  with  a  new  phase  of  nature.     But  he.waa 

,     pass  through  experiences  which  entered  more  profoundly  into  life.     In  Decern] 

;  \i  of  the  same  year,  1818,  his  brother  Tom  died.     He  had  been  his  constant  cc 

^  /  panion  and  nurse,  and  was  with  him  at  his  death.     Then,  when  his  whole  n^ 

y  '    was  deeply  stirred,  he  came  to  know  and  ardently  to  love  a  g^irl  who  by  turns  f 

^  >■      cinated  and  repelled  him,  until  he  was  completely  enthralled,  without  apparen 

finding  in  her  the  repose  which  his  restless  nature  needed. 

Keats's  first  mention  of  Fanny  Brawne  scarcely  prepares  one  for  the  inroi 
made  upon  him  by  this  personage  during  the  rest  of  his  short  life.  He  went 
live  with  his  friend  Brown  after  Tom's  death,  and  Mrs.  Brawne  became  his  ne 
door  neighbor.  ^  She  is  a  very  nice  woman/  he  writes,  ^  and  her  daughter  seni 
is  I  think  beautiful  and  elegant,  graceful,  silly,  fashionable  and  strange.  ^ 
have  a  little  tiff  now  and  then  —  and  she  behaves  a  little  better,  or  I  must  hi 
sheered  off.'  The  passion  which  he  conceived  for  Miss  Brawne  rapidly  mount 
into  a  dominant  place,  and  it  is  one  of  the  marks  of  Keats's  deeper  nature,  i 
disclosed  to  his  friends,  intimate  as  he  was  with  them,  that  for  the  two  years  wU 
intervened  before  he  left  England  a  dying  man,  he  carried  this  passion  as  a  sort 
vulture  gnawing  at  his  vitals,  concealed  for  the  most  part,  though  not  whol 
Some  overt  expression  it  found,  as  in  the  'Ode  to  Fanny,'  the  'Lines  to  Fuin 
and  the  verses  addressed  to  the  same  person  beginning :  — 

*  I  cry  your  pity  —  mercy  —  love,  ay  love,' 

and  it  may  be  traced,  with  little  doubt,  in  those  poems  which  emphasize  his  moo 
such  as  the  '  Ode  to  Melancholy  '  and  the  sonnet  beginning :  — 
^  *  Why  did  I  laugh  to-night  ?  * 

and  that  also  beginning :  — 

*  The  day  is  gone,  and  all  its  sweets  are  gone.' 

The  letters  contain  infrequent  allusions,  except  of  course  the  posthumously  pi 
lished  letters  to  the  lady  herself. 

But  with  this  overmastering  passion  to  reckon  with,  the  student  of  Keats  i 
scarcely  avoid  regarding  it  as  strongly  influencing  the  poet's  career  during 
remaining  days.  The  turbulent  experience  of  death  and  love  acted  upon  a  phyd 
organism  predisposed  to  decay,  and  soon  it  was  apparent  that  Keats  was  himf 
invaded  by  the  disease  of  consumption,  which  had  wasted  his  brother  Tom.  ] 
before  this  ravaging  of  his  powers  set  in,  that  is,  during  the  first  half  of  1819,  wl 
he  was  at  once  deepened  by  sorrow  and  excited  by  love,  he  wrote  that  great  grc 
of  poems  which  begins  with  *  The  Eve  of  St.  Agnes '  and  closes  with  '  Lam 
If  one  takes  as  in  some  respects  the  high-water  mark  of  his  genius  the  mystic  ' 
Belle  Dame  sans  merci,'  it  is  not  perhaps  too  speculative  a  judgment  which  8 
the  keenest  anguish  of  a  passionate  soul  transmuted  into  terms  of  imperso 


I 


BIOGRAPHICAL   SKETCH  xxiii 


poesy.    There  is  no  hectic  flush  about  the  poetry  of  this  half  year,  but  an  increas- 
'mg  firmness  of  touch  and  rich,  yet  reserved  imagination. 

Bat  great  as  his  products  were^  he  had  not  found  his  public,  and  the  littie 
prop^ty  he  had. was  slipping  away,  so  that  he  was  confronted  by  the  fear  of  pov- 
erl^y  as  his  weakness  grew  upon  him.  Nothing  seemed  to  go  well  with  him ;  his 
loTejiffair  brought  him  littie  else  than  exquisite  pain.  It  is  probable  that  on 
^^'s  side  the  pride  which  was  so  dominant  a  chord  in  his  nature  forbade  a  man 
who  could  scarce  support  himself  and  felt  the  damp  dews  of  decline  chilling  his 
Titali^  from  seeking  refuge  in  marriage  with  a  girl  who  was  in  happier  circum- 
ifauice  jhan  he.  He  tried  to  turn  his  gifts  into  money  by  aiming  at  fortune  ¥dth 
apby  for  the  popular  stage.  He  tried  his  hand  at  work  for  the  periodicals.  He 
eren  considered  the  possibility  of  returning  to  his  profession  of  surgery  for  a  liveli- 
bood.  But  all  these  projects  failed  him,  and  he  turned  with  an  almost  savage  and 
Mrtainly  sardonic  humor  to  a  scheme  for  flinging  at  the  head  of  the  public  a  popular 
poem.  ^The  Cap  and  Bells'  is  a  melancholy  example  of  what  a  great  poet  can 
prodace  who  is  consumed  by  a  hopeless  passion  and  wasted  by  disease. 

Keats  clung  to  his  friends  and  wrote  affectionate  letters  to  his  family.  His 
iiioUier  George  came  over  from  America  on  a  brief  business  visit,  and  was  dis- 
turbed to  find  John  so  altered ;  and  scarcely  had  George  returned  in  January, 
1820,  than  the  poet  had  a  sharp  attack  with  loss  of  blood.  He  rallied  as  the 
spring  came  on,  and  early  in  the  summer  saw  to  the  publication  of  his  last  volume, 
eontauing  ^  Hyperion,  Isabella,  The  Eve  of  St  Agnes,  Lamia,'  and  the  ^  Odes,'  per- 
baps  the  most  precious  cargo  carried  in  a  vessel  of  this  size  in  English  literature  in 
.  this  century. 

A  month  after  the  publication  of  the  volume  he  was  writing  to  Shelley,  who  had 
Knt  him  an  invitation  to  visit  him  in  Pisa :  '  There  is  no  doubt  that  an  English 
wbter  would  put  an  end  to  me,  and  do  so  in  a  lingering,  hateful  manner.     There- 
fore, I  must  either  voyage  or  journey  to  Italy,  as  a  soldier  marches  up  to  a  battery.' 
In  September  he  put  himself  into  the  hands  of  his  cheerful  and  steadfast  friend 
Severn  the  artist,  and  they  took  passage  for  Naples.     It  was  when  they  were 
detained  by  winds  off  the  coast  of  England  that  Keats  wrote  his  last  sonnet,  vdth 
itg  veiled  homage  to  Fanny  Brawne,  and  in  Naples  Harbor  he  wrote  to  Mrs. 
Browne  in  a  feverish  mood :  ^  I  dare  not  fix  my  mind  upon  Fanny,  I  have  not 
dared  to  think  of  her.     The  only  comfort  I  have  had  that  way  has  been  in  think- 
ing for  hours  together  of  having  the  knife  she  gave  me  put  in  a  silver  case  — 
the  hair  in  a  locket  —  and  the  pocket-book  in  a  gold  net.     Show  her  this.     I  dare 
say  no  more.'    And  then  there  is  the  letter  to  Brown,  with  its  agony  of  separation, 
in  which  he  gives  way  to  the  torment  of  his  love,  with  despair  written  in  every  line. 
It  is  difficult  to  say  as  one  thinks  of  Keats's  ashes  whether  the  fire  of  passion  or 
the  fire  of  physical  consumption  had  most  to  do  with  causing  them. 

It  was  in  November,  1820,  that  the  travellers  reached  Rome,  and  for  a  littie 
while  Keats  could  take  short  strolls  on  the  Pincian  Hill ;  but  the  fatal  disease  was 
making  rapid  progress,  and  on  the  22d  of  February,  1821,  he  died,  and  three  days 


XXIV 


JOHN   KEATS 


later  he  was  buried  in  the  Protestant  cemetery,  where  apon  his  gravestone  nui 
be  read  the  words  which  Keats  had  said  of  himself :  — 

*  Here  lies  one  whose  name  was  writ  in  water.' 

In  hb  first  sonnet  on  Fame,  Keats,  in  a  saner  mood,  pats  by  the  temptatic 
which  would  ¥dthdraw  him  from  the  high  serenity  of  conscious  worth.  In  tl 
second,  wherein  he  seems  almost  to  be  seeing  Fanny  Brawne  mocking  behind  tl 
figure  of  Fame,  he  shows  a  more  scornful  attitude.  There  is  little  doubt  that  no 
withstanding  his  close  companionship  with  poets  living  and  dead  Keats  never  coo] 
long  escape  from  the  allurements  of  this  '  wayward  g^rl,'  yet  it  may  surely  be  sai 
that  his  escape  was  most  complete  when  he  was  fulfilling  the  highest  law  of  fa: 
nature  and  creating  those  images  of  beauty  which  have  given  him  Fame  while  I 
sleeps. 

£1.  £•  S« 


POEMS 


I 


EARLY  POEMS 


In  this  gronp  are  included  the  contents 
of  the  volame  Poems  by  John  Keats,  pub- 
lished in  March,  1817,  as  well  as  certain 


poems  composed  before  the  publication  of 
Endymion,  The  order  followed  is  as  nearly 
chronological  as  the  evidence  permits. 


IMITATION   OF   SPENSER 

Lord  Honghton  states,  on  the  aathority  of 
the  notes  of  Charles  Azmitage  Brown,  given 
to  him  in  Florence  in  1832,  that  this  was  the 
earliest  known  composition  of  Keats,  and  that 
It  was  written  dnring  his  residence  in  Edmon- 
ton at  the  end  of  his  eighteenth  year,  which 
woold  make  the  date  in  the  aatnmn  of  1813. 
The  poem  was  included  in  the  1817  volume, 
which  bore  on  its  title-page  this  motto :  — 

What  more  felicity  can  fall  to  creature 
Than  to  enjoy  delight  with  liberty  ? 

Fate  of  the  Butterfly.  —  Smreis. 

Now  Morning  from  her  orient  chamber 

came. 
And  her  first  footsteps  touch'd  a  verdant 

hiU; 
Crowning  its  lawny  crest  with  amber 

flame, 
Silv'ring  the  untainted  gushes  of  its  rill; 
Which,  pure  from  mossy  beds,  did  down 

distil, 
And  after  parting  beds  of  simple  flowers, 
By  many  streams  a  little  lake  did  fill. 
Which  round  its  marge  reflected  woven 

bowers, 
And,  in  its  middle  space,  a  sky  that  never 

lowers. 

There  the  kingfisher  saw  his  plumage 

bright, 
Vying  with  fish  of  brilliant  dye  below; 
Whose  silken  fins,  and  golden  scales'  light 
Cast  upward,  through  the  waves,  a  ruby 

glow: 
There  saw  the  swan  his  neck  of  arched 

snow. 


And  oar'd  himself  along  with  majesty; 
Sparkled  his  jetty  eyes;  his  feet  did  show 
Beneath  the  waves  like  Af  ric's  ebony, 
And  on  his  back  a  fay  reclined  voluptuously. 

Ah  !  could  I  tell  the  wonders  of  an  isle 
That  in  that  fairest  lake  had  placed  been» 
I  could  e'en  Dido  of  her  grief  beguile; 
Or  rob  from  aged  Lear  his  bitter  teen: 
For  sure  so  fair  a  place  was  never  seen. 
Of  all  that  ever  charm'd  romantic  eye: 
It  seem'd  an  emerald  in  the  silver  sheen 
Of  the  bright  waters;  or  as  when  on  high,. 
Through  clouds  of  fleecy  white,  laughs  th& 
ccsrulean  sky. 

And  all  around  it  dipp'd  luxuriously 
Slopings  of  verdure  through  the  glossy 

tide, 
Which,  as  it  were  in  gentle  amity. 
Rippled  delighted  up  the  flowery  side; 
As  if  to  glean  the  ruddy  tears,  it  tried. 
Which  fell  profusely  from  the  rose-tree 

stem  ! 
Haply  it  was  the  workings  of  its  pride. 
In  strife  to  throw  upon  the  shore  a  gem 
Outvying  all  the  buds  in  Flora's  diadem. 


ON    DEATH 

Assigned  by  George  Keats  to  the  year  1814, 
and  first  printed  in  Forman's  edition,  1883. 

Can  death  be  sleep,  when  life  is  but  a 
dream. 
And  scenes  of  bliss  pass  as  a  phantom  by  ? 


EARLY  POEMS 


The  transient  pleasures  as  a  vision  seem, 
And  yet  we  think  the  greatest  pain 's  to 
die. 

How  strange  it  is  that  man  on  earth  should 
roam, 

And  lead  a  life  of  woe,  but  not  forsake 
His  rugged  path;  nor  dare  he  view  alone 

His  future  doom,  which  is  but  to  awake. 


TO   CHATTERTON 

First  printed  in  Xt/e,  Letters^  and  Literary 
Bemairu,  but  undated.  Keats' s  admiration  of 
Chatterton  was  early  and  constant. 

O  Chatterton  I  how  very  sad  thy  fate  I 
Dear  child  of  sorrow  —  son  of  misery  ! 
How  soon  the  film  of  death  obscur'd  that 
eye, 
Whence  Genius  mildly  flash'd,  and  high 

debate. 
How  soon  that  voice,  majestic  and  elate. 
Melted  in  dying  numbers  I      Oh  I  how 

nigh 
Was  night  to  thy  fair  morning.     Thou 
didst  die 
A  half-blown  flow'ret  which  cold  blasts 

amate. 
But  this  is  past:  thou  art  among  the  stars 
Of  highest  Heaven:  to  the  rolling  spheres 
Thou  sweetly  singest:  nought  thy  hynming 
mars. 
Above  the  ingrate   world   and    human 
fears. 
On  earth  the  good  man  base  detraction 
bars 
From  thy  fair  name,  and  waters  it  with 
tears. 


TO   BYRON 

The  date  of  December,  1814,  is  given  to  this 
sonnet  by  Lord  Honghton  in  LifSf  Letters,  and 
Literary  Remains,  where  it  was  first  published. 

Btron  I  how  sweetly  sad  thy  melody  f 
Attuning  still  the  soul  to  tenderness, 


As  if  soft  Pity,  with  unusual  stress, 
Had  touch'd  her  plaintive  lute,  and  thooiH 

being  by, 
Hadst  caught  the  tones,  nor  suffered  thei^B 
to  die. 
Overshadowing  sorrow  doth   not  malcK 

thee  less 
Delightful:  thou  thy  griefs  dost  dress 
With  a  bright  halo,  shining  beamily. 
As  when  a  cloud  the  golden  moon  doth  veLl^ 
Its  sides  are  ting'd  with  a  resplendent 
glow. 
Through  the  dark  robe  oft  amber  rays  pre- 
vail. 
And  like  fair  veins  in  sable  marble  flow; 
Still  warble,  dying  swan  I  still  tell  the  tale, 
The  enchanting  tale,  the  tale  of  pleasing 
woe. 


•WOMAN!    WHEN   I   BEHOLD 
THEE   FLIPPANT,  VAIN' 


In  the  1817  volume,  where  this  poem 
first  published,  with  no  title,  it  is  placed  at 
the  end  of  a  gronp  of  poems  which  are  thus 
advertised  on  the  leaf  containing  the  dedica- 
tion :  *  The  Short  Pieces  in  the  middle  of  the 
Book  as  well  as  some  of  the  Sonnets,  were 
written  at  an  earlier  period  than  the  rest  of 
the  Poems.'  In  the  absence  of  any  docomen- 
tary  evidence,  it  seems  reasonable  to  place  it 
near  the  'Imitation  of  Spenser'  rather  than 
near  *  Calidore.' 

WoBCAN  !  when  I  behold  thee  flippant,  vain. 
Inconstant,  childish,  proud,  and  full  of 

fancies; 
Without  that  modest  softening  that  en- 
hances 
The  downcast  eye,  repentant  of  the  pain 
That  its  mild  light  creates  to  heal  again: 
E'en  then,  elate,  my   spirit  leaps,  and 

prances. 
E'en  then  my  soul  with  exultation  danoes 
For  that  to  love,  so  long,  I've  dormant 

lain: 
But  when  I  see  thee  meek,  and  kind,  and 
tender. 


TO   SOME  LADIES 


Ewnm !  how  desperately  do  I  adore 
1W  wimiiiig  graces;  —  to  be  thy  defender 

I  body  bam  —  to  be  a  Calidore  — 
1  nrj  Bed  Cross  Sought  —  a  stout  Le- 
snder — 
IGgiit  I  be  lored  by  thee  like  these  of 
joie* 

Lght  feet,  dark  yiolet  eyes,  and  parted 


Soft  dimpled  hands,  white    neck,  and 

ereamy  breast, 
Alt  things  on  which  the  dazzled  senses 
rest 
IjO  the  food,  fixed  eyes,  forget  they  stare. 
fkoB  flneh  fine  pictures,  heavens  f   I  cannot 
dare 
To  torn  my  admiration,  though  unpos- 
sessed 
They  be  of  what  is  worthy,  —  though  not 
drest 
Is  knrdy  modesty,  and  yirtnes  rare. 
Tet  these  I  leave  as  thoughtless  as  a  lark; 
^     These  lores  I  straight  forget,  — e'en  ere 
I  dine. 
Or  thriee  my  palate  moisten:  but  when  I 


8mA   charms    with    mild    intelligences 


My  ear  is  €fpen  like  a  greedy  shark. 
To  ealeh  the  tunings  of  a  voice  divine. 

Ak  I  who  can  e'er  forget  so  fair  a  being  ? 

Who  can  forget  her  half-retiring  sweets  ? 

God !  she  is  like  a  milk-white  lamb  that 
bleats 
Fir  man's  protection.     Surely  the  All-see- 

.  ing. 
Wko  joys  to  see  us  with  his  gifts  agree- 

WiU  never  give  him  pinions,  whointreats 
8mA  innocenoe   to  ruin,  —  who  vilely 


Aivfe4ike  bosom.     In  truth  there  is  no 


Cbe's  tlioa^ts  from  such  a  beauty;  when 
I  hear 
A  lay  that  onoe  I  saw  her  hand  awake, 


Her  form  seems  floating  palpable,  and  near; 

Had  I  e'er  seen  her  from  an  arbour  take 
A  dewy  flower,  oft  would  that  hand  appear, 

And  o'er  my  eyes  the  trembling  moisture 
shake. 


TO   SOME   LADIES 

This  and  the  poem  following  were  included 
in  the  1817  volnme.  George  Keats  says  fur- 
ther that  it  was '  writtei|  on  receiving  a  copy 
of  Tom  Moore's  **  Gk>lden  Chain  "  and  a  most 
beantif ul  Dome  shaped  shell  from  a  Lady.' 
The  exact  title  of  Moore's  poem  is  'The 
Wreath  and  the  Chain,'  and  it  will  be  readily 
seen  how  expressly  imitative  these  lines  are  <^ 
Moore's  verse  in  general.  The  poems  are  not 
dated,  bnt  they  are  the  first  in  a  group  stated 
by  Keats  to  have  been  '  written  at  an  earlier 
period  than  the  rest  of  the  Poems ;'  it  is  safe  to 
assume  that  they  belong  very  near  the  begin- 
ning of  Keats's  poetical  career.  It  is  quite 
likely  that  they  were  indaded  in  the  volume  a 
few  years  later  on  personal  grounds. 

What  though  while  the  wonders  of  natoie 
exploring, 
I  cannot  your  light,  mazy  footsteps  at- 
tend; 
Nor  listen  to  accents,  that  almost  adoring. 
Bless    Cynthia's    face,  the   enthusiast's 
friend: 

Yet  over  the  steep,  whence  the  mountain- 
stream  rushes. 
With  you,  kindest  friends,  in  idea  I  rove; 
Mark  the  clear  tumbling  crystal,  its  pas- 
sionate gushes, 
Its  spray  that  the  wild  flower  kindly 
bedews. 

Why  linger  you    so,  the  wild  labyrinth 
strolling  ? 
Why  breathless,  unable  your  bliss  to  de- 
clare? 
Ah!  you  list  to  the  nightingale's  tender 
condoling. 
Responsive  to  sylphs,  in  the  moon-beamy 
air. 


4                                                EARLY 

POEMS 

'Tib  mom,  and  the  flowers  with  dew  are 

And  splendidly  mark'd  with  the  st4 

yet  droopmg, 

vine 

I  see  yoQ  are  treading  the  verge  of  the 

Of  Armida  the  fair,  and  Rinalc 

sea: 

bold? 

And  pow  f  ah,  I  see  it  —  you  just  now  are 

stooping 

Hast  thou  a  steed  with  a  mane  richl^ 

• 

To  pick  up  the  keepsake  intended  for  me. 

ing? 

Hast  thou  a  sword   that  thine  ei 

If  a  cherub,  on  pinions  of  silver  descending, 

smart  is  ? 

Had  brought  me  a  g^m  from  the  fret- 

Hast thou  a  trumpet  rich  melodies  bio 

work  of  heaven; 

And  wear'st  thou  the  shield  of  the 

And  smiles,  with  <liis  star-cheering  voice 

Britomartis  ? 

sweetly  blending. 

The  blessings  of  Tighe  had  melodiously 

What  is  it  that  hangs  from  thy  she 

given; 

so  brave, 

Embroidered  with  many  a  spring  p 

It  had  not  created  a  warmer  emotion 

flower  ? 

Than  the  present,  fair  nymphs,  I  was 

Is  it  a  scarf  that  thy  fair  lady  gave ' 

blest  with  from  you; 

And  hastest  thou  now  to  that  fair 

Than  the   shell,  from  the  bright  golden 

bower? 

sands  of  the  ocean, 

Which  the  emerald  waves  at  your  feet 

Ah  I  courteous  Sir  Knight,  with  lax 

gladly  threw. 

thou  art  crown'd; 

Full  many  the  glories  that  bright 

For,  indeed,  't  is  a  sweet  and  peculiar  plea- 

youth I 

sure. 

I  will  tell  thee  my  blisses,  which 

(And  blissful  is  he  who  such  happiness 

abound 

finds,) 

In  magical  powers  to  bless,  and  to  ( 

To  possess  but  a  span  of  the  hour  of  leisure. 

In  elegant,  pure,  and  aerial  minds. 

On  this  scroll  thou  seest  written  in  c 

ters  fair 

A    sun-beamy    tale  of  a  wreath. 

ON      RECEIVING      A      CURIOUS 

chain: 

SHELL       AND      A      COPY      OF 

And,  warrior,  it  nurtures  the  properl 

VERSES      FROM      THE     SAME 

Of  charming  my  mind  from  the  t'ra 

LADIES 

of  pain. 

Hart  thou  from  the  caves  of  Golconda,  a 

This  canopy  mark:  't  is  the  work  of 

gem 

Beneath  its  rich  shade  did  King  ( 

Pure  as  ^e  ice-drop  that  froze  on  the 

languish. 

mountain? 

When  lovely  Titania  was  far,  far  aw 

Bright  as  the  humming-bird's  green  diadem, 

And  cruelly  left  him  to  sorrow,  a 

When  it  flutters  in  sunbeams  that  shine 

guish. 

through  a  fountain  ? 

There,  oft  would  he  bring  from  hi 

Hast  thou  a  goblet  for  dark  sparkling  wine  ? 

sighing  lute 

That  goblet  right  heavy,  and  massy,  and 

Wild  strains  to  which,  spell-boui 

gold? 

nightingales  listened ; 

I 


TO   HOPE 


The  wondermg    spirits  of    heaven    were 
mute, 
And  tears  'mong  the  dewdrops  of  mom- 
uig  oh  glistened. 

In  this  little  dome,  all   those    melodies 
strange, 
Soft,  plaintive,  and  melting,  for  ever  will 
sigh; 
Nor  e'er  will  the  notes  from  their  tender- 
ness change ; 
Nor  e'er  will  the  music  of  Oberon  die. 

So,  when  I  am  in  a  voluptuous  vein, 
I  pillow  mj  head  on  the  sweets  of  the 
rose, 
And  list  to  the  tale  of  the  wreath,  and  the 
chain. 
Till  its  echoes  depart;  then  I  sink  to  re- 
pose. 

Adieu,  valiant  Eric  I   with  joy  thou  art 

crown'd ; 

Fall  many  the  glories  that  brighten  thy 

youth, 

I  too  have  my  blisses,  which  richly  abound 

In  magical  powers,  to  bless  and  to  soothe. 


WRITTEN  ON  THE  DAY  THAT 
MR.  LEIGH  HUNT  LEFT 
PRISON 

fither  the  2d  or   3d  of   February,   1815. 
^^larles    Gowden    Clarke,   to    whom    Keats 
<lMwad  the  aomiet,  writes  in  his  recollections: 
'This  I  feel  to  be  the  first  proof  I  had  re- 
eved of  his  having  conmiitted   himself  in 
T«ne ;  and  how  dearly  do  I  recollect  the  con- 
icioos  look  and  hesitation  with  which  he  of- 
fered it  I    There  are  some  momentary  glances 
by  beloved  friends  that  fade  only  with  life.' 
Hie  sonnet  was  printed  in  the  1817  volume. 


What  though,  for  showing  truth  to  flat- 
ter'd  state. 
Kind  Hunt  was  shut  in  prison,  yet  has 

he. 
In  his  immortal  spirit,  been  as  free 


As  the  sky-searching  lark,  and  as  elate. 
Minion  of  grandeur  !    think  you  he  did 
wait? 
Think  you  he  nought  but  prison-walls 

did  see. 
Till,  so  unwilling,  thou  nnturn'dst  the 
key? 
Ah,  no  I  far  happier,  nobler  was  his  fate  f 
In  Spenser's  haUs  he  strayed,  and  bowers 
fair. 
Culling  enchanted  flowers;  and  he  flew 
With  daring  Milton  .through  the  fields  of 
air: 
To  regions  of  his  own  his  genius  true 
Took  happy  flights.     Who  shall  his  fame 
impair 
When  thou  art  dead,  and  all  thy  wretched 
crew? 


TO   HOPE 

Keats  dates  this  poem  in  the  volume  of  1817, 
February,  1815. 

When  by  my  solitary  hearth  I  sit. 
And  hateful  thoughts  enwrap  my  soul  in 
gloom; 
When  no  fair  dreams  before  my  *  mind's 
eye*  flit, 
And  the  bare  heath  of  life  presents  no 
bloom; 
Sweet  Hope,  ethereal  balm  upon  me 

shed. 
And  wave  thy  silver  pinions  o'er  my 
head. 

Whene'er  I  wander,  at  the  fall  of  night. 
Where  woven  boughs  shut  out  the  moon's 
bright  ray,  ^ 

Should    sad     Despondency    my    musings 
fright. 
And  frown,  to  drive  fair  Cheerfulness 
away. 
Peep  with  the  moonbeams  through  the 

leafy  roof, 
And  keep  that  fiend  Despondence  far 
aloof. 


EARLY   POEMS 


Should  Disappointment,  parent  of  Despair, 
Strive  for  her  son  to  seize  my  careless 
heart; 
When,  like  a  cloud,  he  sits  upon  the  air, 
Preparing  on  his  spell-bound  prey  to 
dart: 
Chase  him  away,  sweet  Hope,  with 

visage  bright, 
And  fright  him  as  the  morning  fright- 
ens night  I 

Whene'er  the  fate  of  those  I  hold  most  dear 

Tells  to  my  fearful  breast  a  tale  of  sorrow, 

O  bright-eyed    Hope,  my  morbid  fancy 

cheer; 

Let  me  awhile  thy  sweetest  comforts 

borrow: 

Thy  heaven-bom  radiance  around  me 

shed. 
And  wave  thy  silver  pinions  o'er  my 
head  ! 

Should  e'er  unhappy  love  my  bosom  pain, 
From  cruel  parents,  or  relentless  fair  ; 
O  let  me  think  it  is  not  quite  in  vain 
To  sigh  out  sonnets  to  the  midnight  air  I 
Sweet  Hope,  ethereal  balm  upon  me 

shed. 
And  wave  thy  silver  pinions  o'er  my 
head. 

Li  the  long  vista  of  the  years  to  roll, 

Let  me  not  see  our  country's  honour  fade : 
O  let  me  see  our  land  retain  her  soul. 
Her  pride,  her  freedom;  and  not  free- 
dom's shade. 
From  thy  bright  eyes  onusnal  bright- 
ness shed  — 
Beneath  thy  pinions  canopy  my  head  I 

Let  me  not  see  the  patriot's  high  bequest. 

Great  Liberty  !  how  great  in  plain  attire ! 
With  the  base  purple  of  a  court  oppress'd. 
Bowing  her  head,  and  ready  to  expire: 
But  let  me  see  thee  stoop  from   hea- 
ven on  wing^ 
That  fill  the  skies  with  silver  glitter- 
ingsl 


And  as,  in  sparkling  majesty,  a  star 

Gilds  the  bright  summit  of  some  gloomy 
cloud ; 
Brightening  the  half  veil'd  face  of  heaven 
afar: 
So,  when  dark  thoughts  my  boding  spirit 
shroud. 
Sweet  Hope,  celestial  influence  round 

me  shed. 
Waving  thy  silver  pinions  o'er  my  head. 


ODE   TO   APOLLO 

The  Ode  and  the  Hymn  which  follows  were 
first  printed  by  Lord  Houghton  in  Xt/e,  Letters 
and  Literary  Bemains ;  the  former  is  there 
dated  February,  1815. 

In  thy  western  halls  of  gold 

When  thou  sittest  in  thy  state, 
Bards,  that  erst  sublimely  told 

Heroic  deeds,  and  sang  of  fate, 
With    fervour    seize  their    adamantine 
lyres. 
Whose  chords  are  solid  rays,  and  twinkle 
radiant  fires. 

Here  Homer  with  his  nervous  arms 
Strikes  the  twanging  harp  of  war, 
And  even  the  western  splendour  warms. 

While  the  trumpets  sound  afar: 
But,  what  creates  the  most  intense  sur- 
prise. 
His  soul  looks  out  through  renovated  eyes. 

Then,  through  thy  Temple  wide,  melodi- 
ous swells 
The  sweet  majestic  tone  of  Maro's  lyre: 
The    soul    deligfhted    on    each    accent 
dwells,  — 
Euraptur'd  dwells,  —  not  daring  to  re- 
spire. 
The  while  he  tells  of  grief  around  a  funeral 
pyre. 

'T  is  awful  silence  then  again; 
Expectant  stand  the  spheres; 
Breathless  the  laurell'd  peers, 


TO  A  YOUNG  LADY  WHO  SENT  ME  A  LAUREL  CROWN 


Nor  move,  till  ends  the  lofty  strain, 
Nor  move  till  Milton's  tnnef  al  thunders 
cease, 
And  leave  once  more  the  ravish'd  heavens 
in  peace. 

Thon  biddest  Shakspeare  wave  his  hand, 

And  quickly  forward  spring 
The  Passions  —  a  terrific  band  — 

And  each  vibrates  the  string 
That  with  its  tyrant  temper  best  accords, 
While  from  their  Master's  lips  pour  forth 
the  inspiring  words. 

A  silver  trumpet  Spenser  blows. 

And,  as  its  martial  notes  to  silence  flee. 
From  a  virgin  chorus  flows 

A  hymn  in  praise  of  spotless  Chastity. 
rr  is  still  I      Wild  warblings  from  the 
.£olian  lyre 
Enchantment    softly  breathe,  and    trem- 
blingly expire. 

Next  thy  Tasso's  ardent  numbers 

Float  along  the  pleased  air, 
Calling  youth  from  idle  slumbers. 

Rousing  them  from  Pleasure's  lair:  — 
Then  o'er  the  strings  his  fingers  gently 
move, 
And  melt  the  soul  to  pity  and  to  love. 

But  when  Thou  joinest  with  the  Nine, 
And  all  the  powers  of  song  combine. 

We  listen  here  on  earth: 
The  dying  tones  that  fill  the  air, 
And  charm  the  ear  of  evening  fair. 
From  thee,  Great  God  of  Bards,  receive 
their  heavenly  birth. 


HYMN   TO   APOLLO 

God  of  the  golden  bow. 

And  of  the  golden  lyre, 
And  of  the  golden  hair, 
And  of  the  golden  fire. 
Charioteer 
Of  the  patient  year, 


Where  —  where  slept  thine  ire. 
When  like  a  blank  idiot  I  put  on  thy  wreath, 
Thy  laurel,  thy  glory. 
The  light  of  thy  story. 
Or  was  I  a  worm  —  too  low  crawling,  for 
death  ? 
O  Delphic  Apollo ! 

The  Thunderer  grasp'd  and  grasp'd, 

The  Thunderer  frown'd  and  frown'd; 
The  eagle's  feathery  mane 
For  wrath  became  stiffen'd  —  the  sound 
Of  breeding  thunder 
Went  drowsily  under. 
Muttering  to  be  unbound. 
O  why  didst  thou  pity,  and  for  a  worm 
Why  touch  thy  soft  lute 
Till  the  thunder  was  mute, 
Why  was  not  I  crush'd — such  a  pitiful 
germ  ? 

O  Delphic  Apollo  I 

The  Pleiades  were  up. 

Watching  the  silent  air; 
The  seeds  and  roots  in  the  Earth 
Were  swelling  for  summer  fare; 
The  Ocean,  its  neighbour. 
Was  at  its  old  labour, 
When,  who  —  who  did  dare 
To  tie,  like  a  madman,  thy  plant  round  his 
brow. 

And  grin  and  look  proudly. 
And  blaspheme  so  loudly. 
And  live  for  that  honour,  to  stoop  to  thee 
now? 

O  Delphic  Apollo  I 

TO  A  YOUNG  LADY  WHO  SENT 
ME  A  LAUREL  CROWN 

First  printed  by  Lord  Houghton  in  the  Life^ 
Letters  and  Literary  Remains,  bat  undated. 

Fresh  morning  gusts  have  blown  away  all 

fear 
From  my  glad  bosom, — now  from  gloom 

iness 
I  mount  for  ever  —  not  an  atom  less 


8 


EARLY  POEMS 


Than  the  proud  laurel  shall  content  my 

bier. 
No  !  by  the  eternal  stars  I  or  why  sit  here 
In  the  Sun's  eye,  and  'gainst  my  temples 

press 
Apollo's  very  leaves,  woven  to  bless 
By  thy  white  fingers  and  thy  spirit  clear. 
Lo  1  who  dares  say,  <  Do  this  ? '  Who  dares 
call  down 
My  will  from  its  high  purpose  ?    Who 
say,  *  Stand,' 
Or  <  Go  ? '    This  mighty  moment  I  would 
frown 
On  abject  Caesars  —  not    the  stoutest 
band 
Of  mailed  heroes  should  tear  off  my  crown  : 
Yet  would  I  kneel  and  kiss  jbhy  gentle 
hand  I 


SONNET 

Published  in  the  1817  volume.  Lord  Hough- 
ton states  that  this  sonnet  '  was  the  means  of 
introducing  Keats  to  Mr.  Leigh  Hunt's  society. 
Mr.  Cowden  Clarke  had  brought  some  of  his 
young  friend's  verses  and  read  them  aloud. 
Mr.  Horace  Smith,  who  happened  to  be  there, 
was  struck  with  the  last  six  lines,  especially 
the  penultimate,  saying  ^' what  a  well  condensed 
expression ! "  and  Keats  was  shortly  after  in- 
troduced to  the  literary  circle.'  This  would 
appear  to  fix  the  date  as  not  later  than  the 
summer  of  1815. 

How  many  bards  gild  the  lapses  of  time  ! 
A  few  of  them  have  ever  been  the  food 
Of  my  delighted  fancy,  —  I  could  brood 
Over  their  beauties,  earthly,  or  sublime  : 
And  often,  when  I  sit  me  down  to  rhyme, 
These  will  in  throngs  before  my  mind 

intrude : 
But  no  confusion,  no  disturbance  rude 
Do  they  occasion ;  't  is  a  pleasing  chime. 
So  the  unnumber'd  sounds  that  evening 
store; 
The  songs  of  birds  —  the  whisp'ring  of 

the  leaves  — 
The  voice   of  waters  —  the  great  bell 
that  heaves 


With  solemn  sound, — and  thousand  others 
more. 
That  distance  of  recognizance  bereaves, 
Make  pleasing  music,  and  not  wild  uproar. 


SONNET 

According  to  Charles  Cowden  Clarke,  thia 
sonnet  was  written  upon  Keats  first  visiting 
Hunt  in  the  Vale  of  Health.  It  was  published 
in  the  1817  volume. 

Keen,  fitful  gusts  are  whisp'ring  here  and 
there 

Among  the  bushes  half  leafless,  and  dry ; 

The  stars  look  very  cold  about  the  sky. 
And  I  have  many  miles  on  foot  to  fare. 
Yet  feel  I  little  of  the  cool  bleak  air. 

Or  of  the  dead  leaves  rustling  drearily. 

Or  of  those  silver  lamps  that  bum  on 
high. 
Or  of  the  distance  from  home's  pleasant 

lair: 
For  I  am  brimful  of  the  friendliness 

That  in  a  little  cottage  I  have  found; 
Of  fair-hair'd  Milton's  eloquent  distress, 

And  all  his  love  for  g^entle  Lycid  drown'd ; 
Of  lovely  Laura  in  her  light  green  dress. 

And  faithful  Petrarch  gloriously  crown'd. 


SPENSERIAN   STANZA 

WRITTEN  AT  THE  CLOSE  OF  CANTO  II. 
BOOK  V.  OF  *THE  FAERIE  QUEENE ' 

Given  by  Lord  Houghton  in  Itift,  Letters  and 
Literary  Remains,  who  comments  as  follows: 
*  His  sympathies  were  very  much  on  the  ade 
of  the  revolutionary  Giant,  who  **  undertook  for 
to  repair  "  the  **  realms  and  nations  run  awry,** 
and  to  suppress  "  tyrants  that  make  men  sub- 
ject to  their  law/'  '*  and  lordings  curbe  that 
commons  over-^tw,"  while  he  g^dged  the  le- 
gitinuite  victory,  as  he  rejected  the  oonserva^ 
tive  philosophy,  of  the  **  righteous  Artegall** 
and  his  comrade,  the  fierce  defender  of  privi- 
lege and  order.  And  he  expressed  in  thia 
ex  post  facto  prophecy,  his  conviction  of  the 


EPISTLE  TO   GEORGE   FELTON   MATHEW 


triampli  of  freedom  and  equality  by 
of  transmitted  knowledge.'  No 
u  —ignfd,  aod  the  yene  may  as  well  be 
ia  the  eariy  period  of  Keata's  acqnaint- 
witk  Spenser  and  friendship  with  Leigh 


Isr  after-tiine,  a  sage  of  mickle  lore 
Tdep'd  Typographus,  the  Giant  took, 
And  did  refit  his  limbs  as  heretofore, 
And  made  him  read  in  many  a  learned 

book, 
Aad  into  many  a  lively  legend  look; 
Iheieby  in  goodly  themes  so  training 

him, 
Dmi  all  his  bmtishness  he  quite  for- 

Wka,  meeting  Artegall  and  Talus  grim, 
1W  Qse  be  struck  stone-blind,  the  other's 
eyes  woz  dim. 


ON    LEAVING     SOME     FRIENDS 
AT  AN    EARLY   HOUR 

Writtea,  as  Clarke  intimates,  in  connection 
lUk  KmIb's  vints  to  Leigh  Hant  in  the  Vale 
«KHiiHk    Pnbliahed  in  the  1817  Tolume. 

€nn  me  a  gdden  pen,  and  let  me  lean 
Oi  heap'd-up  flowers,  in  regions  clear 

tod  far; 
Biisg  me  a  tablet  whiter  than  a  star, 
Or  bad  of  hymning  angel,  when  't  is  seen 
u6  aher  strings  of  heavenly  harp  at  ween: 
^  let  there  glide  by  many  a  pearly 


Kik  robes,  and  wayy  hair,  and  diamond 
mi  Islf -disooyer'd  wings,  and  glances 


Ivvkile  let  music  wander  round  my  ears, 
M  ss  it  reaches  each  delicious  ending. 
Let  me  write  down  a  line  of  glorious 

Mfall  of  many  wcmders  of  the  spheres: 
hr  what  a  height  my  spirit  is  contend- 
ingl 

Tia  not  content  so  soon  to  be  alone. 


ON   FIRST   LOOKING   INTO 
CHAPMAN'S   HOMER 

It  was  Charles  Cowden  Clarke  who  was  with 
Keats  when  the  friends  made  the  acquaintance 
of  this  translation  of  Homer  by  the  Eliza- 
bethan poet.  The  two  young  men  had  sat  up 
nearly  all  one  night  in  the  summer  of  1815  in 
Clarke's  lodging,  reading  from  a  folio  volume 
of  the  book  which  they  had  borrowed.  Keati 
left  for  his  own  lodg^ings  at  dawn,  and  when 
Clarke  came  down  to  breakfast  the  next  morn- 
ing, he  found  this  sonnet  which  Keats  had 
sent  him. 

Much  have  I  travell'd  in  the  realms  of 
gold,   '- 
And  many  goodly  states  and  kingdoms 

seen;    r 
Round  many  western  islands  have  I  been    ' 
Which  bards  in  fealty  to  Apollo  hold. 
Oft  of  one  wide  expanse  had  I  been  told  cv 
That  deep-brow'd  Homer  ruled  as  his 

demesne:    > 
Yet  did  I  never  breathe  its  pure  serene  • 
Till  I  heard  Chapman  speak  out  loud  and 

bold:  "^ 
Then  felt  I  like  some  watcher  of  the  skies  t 
When  a  new  planet  swims  into  his  ken;    i 
Or  like  stout  Cortez  when  with  eagle  eyes  < 
He  star'd  at  the  Pacific — and  all  his    ^ 
men 
Look'd  at  each  other  with  a  wild  surmise  —  <- 
Silent,  upon  a  peak  in  Darien. 


EPISTLE   TO   GEORGE   FELTON 
MATHEW 

Mathew,  who  was  of  Keats^s  age,  was  his 
companion  when  he  first  went  to  London.  The 
two  had  common  tastes  in  literature  and  read 
together,  and  Mathew  also  made  essays  in 
writing,  so  that  Keats,  who  was  living  much  in 
Elizabethan  literature  at  the  time,  might  easily 
transfer  in  imaginaUon  some  of  the  great  deeds 
of  partnership  to  himself  and  his  friend.  It 
is  worth  while  to  note  Mathew's  own  recollec- 
tion, thirty  years  later,  of  the  contrast  of  him- 


lO 


EARLY  POEMS 


self  with  Keats:  *  Keats  and  I,  though  about 
the  same  age,  and  both  inclined  to  literature, 
were  in  many  respects  as  different  as  two  in- 
dividuals could  be.  He  enjoyed  good  health  — 
a  fine  flow  of  animal  spirits  —  was  fond  of 
company  —  could  amuse  himself  admirably 
with  the  frivolities  of  life — and  had  g^reat 
confidence  in  himself.  I,  on  the  other  hand, 
was  languid  and  melancholy — fond  of  repose 
—  thoughtful  beyond  my  years  —  and  diffi- 
dent to  the  last  deg^e.'  llie  epistle  is  dated 
November,  1815,  in  the  volimie  of  1817,  where 
it  is  the  first  of  a  group  of  three  epistles  with 
the  motto  from  Browne^s  Britannia^s  Pas- 
ter (ds  : 

Among  the  rest  a  ahepberd  (though  but  young 
Yet  haitned  to  hi«  pipe)  with  all  the  aklU 
HJa  few  yeeres  could,  began  to  fit  hii  qaUL 

Sweet  are  the  pleasures  that  to  verse 
belong, 
And  doubly  sweet  a  brotherhood  in  song; 
Nor  can  remembrance,  Mathew  I  bring  to 

view 
A  fate  more  pleasing,  a  delight  more  true 
Than  that  in  which  the  brother  Poets  joy'd, 
Who,  with  combined  powers,  their  wit  em- 

ploy'd 
To  raise  a  trophy  to  the  drama's  muses. 
The  thought  of  this  great  partnership  dif- 
fuses 
Over  the  genius-loving  heart,  a  feeling 
Of  all  that 's  high,  and  great,  and  good, 
and  healing.  lo 

Too  partial  friend  I  fain  would  I  follow 

thee 
Past  each  horizon  of  fine  poesy; 
Fain  would  I  echo  back  each  pleasant  note 
As  o'er  Sicib'an  seas,  clear  anthems  float 
'Mong  the  light  skimming  gondolas  far 

parted. 
Just  when  the  sun  his  farewell  beam  has 

darted: 
But  'tis  impossible;  far  different  cares 
Beckon  me  sternly  from  soft  <  Lydian  airs,' 
And  hold  my  faculties  so  long  in  thrall, 
That  I  am  oft  in  doubt  whether  at  all       20 
I  shall  again  see  Phcebus  in  the  morning: 
Or  flnsh'd  Aurora  in  the  roseate  dawning  I 


Or  a  white  Naiad  in  a  rippling  stream; 
Or  a  rapt  seraph  in  a  moonlight  beam; 
Or  again  witness  what  with  thee  I  We  seen. 
The  dew  by  fairy  feet  swept  from  the 

green. 
After  a  night  of  some  quaint  jubilee 
Which  every  elf  and  fay  had  come  to  see: 
When  bright  processions  took  their  airy 

march 
Beneath    the    cui^^    moon's    triumphal 

arch.  30 

But  might  I  now  each  passing  moment 
give 

To  the  coy  Muse,  with  me  she  would  not 
live 

In  this  dark  city,  nor  would  condescend 

'Mid  contradictions  her  delights  to  lend. 

Should  e'er  the  fine-eyed  maid  to  me  be 
kind, 

Ah  !  surely  it  must  be  whene'er  I  find 

Some  flowery  spot,  sequester'd,  wild,  ro- 
mantic, 

That  often  must  have  seen  a  poet  fran- 
tic; 

Where  oaks,  that  erst  the  Druid  knew,  are 
growing. 

And  flowers,  the  glory  of  one  day,  are 
blowing;  40 

Where  the  dark-leav'd  laburnum's  droop- 
ing clusters 

Reflect  athwart  the  stream  their  yellow 
lustres. 

And  intertwined  the  cassia's  arms  unite, 

With  its  own  drooping  buds,  but  very  white. 

Where  on  one   side  are  covert  branches 
•  hung, 

'Mong  which  the  nightingales  have  always 
sung 

In  leafy  quiet:  where  to  pry,  aloof 

Atween  the  pillars  of  the  sylvan  roof. 

Would  be  to  find  where  violet  beds  were 
nestling. 

And  where  the  bee  with  cowslip  bells  was 
wrestling.  50 

There  must  be  too  a  ruin  dark  and  gloomy. 

To  say  'Joy  not  too  much  in  all  that's 
bloomy.' 


I 


TO 

Yet  this  is  yain  —  O  Mathew,  lend  thy 
aid 
To  find  a  place  where  I  may  greet  the 

maid  — 
Where  we  may  soft  humanity  put  on. 
And  sit,  and  rhyme  and  think  on  Chatter- 
ton; 
And  that  warm-hearted  Shakspeare  sent  to 

meet  him 
Foot  kurell'd  spirits,  heavenward  to  en- 
treat him. 
With  reverence  would  we  speak  of  all  the 

sages 
Who  have  left  streaks  of  light  athwart 
their  ages:  60 

And  thou  shonldst  moralize  on  Milton's 

blindness, 
And  mourn  the  fearful  dearth  of  human 

kindness 
To  those  who  strove  with  the  bright  golden 

wing 
Of  genius,  to  flap  away  each  sting 
Thrown  by  the  pitiless  world.    We  next 

could  tell 
Of  those  who  in  the  cause  of  freedom  fell; 
Of  our  own  Alfred,  of  Helvetian  Tell; 
Of  him  whose  name  to  ev'ry  heart 's  a 

8olaee» 
High-minded    and    unbending    William 

Wallace. 
While  to  the  rugged  north  our  musing 
turns,  70 

We  well  might  drop  a  tear  for  him,  and 
Bums. 

Felton  f  without  incitements  such  as  these. 
How  vain  for  me  the  niggard  Muse  to 

tease: 
For  thee,  she  will  thy  every  dwelling  grace, 
And  make  '  a  sunshine  in  a  shady  place:  * 
For  thou  wast  once  a  flowret  blooming 

wild, 
Cloee  to  the  source,  bright,  pure,  and  unde- 

fil'd. 
Whence  gush  the   streams  of   song:    in 

happy  hour 
Came  chaste  Diana  from  her  shady  bower, 
Just  as  the  sun  was  from  the  east  uprising; 


II 


And,  as  for  him  some  giH  she  was  devising, 
Beheld  thee,  pluck'd  thee,  cast  thee  in  the 

stream  sa 

To  meet  her  glorious  brother's  greeting 

beam. 
I  marvel  much  that  thou  hast  never  told 
How,  from  a  flower,  into  a  fish  of  gold 
Apollo  chang'd  thee:  how  thou  next  didst 

seem 
A    black-ey'd    swan    upon    the   widening 

stream; 
And  when  thou  first  didst  in  that  mirror 

trace 
The  placid  features  of  a  human  face: 
That  thou    hast    never  told    thy  travels 

strange,  90 

And  all  the  wonders  of  the  mazy  range 
O'er  pebbly  crystal,  and  o'er  golden  sands; 
Kissing  thy  daily  food  from  Naiads'  pearly 

hands. 


TO 


A  valentine  written  in  1816  by  Keats  for  his 
brother  George  to  send  to  the  lady  Georgiana 
Wylie,  whom  he  afterward  married,  was  later 
expanded  into  the  following  lines.  It  was  in- 
cluded in  the  1817  volome.  For  the  original 
valentine  see  the  Notes  at  the  end  of  this 
volume. 

Hadst  thou  liv'd  in  days  of  old, 

O  what  wonders  had  been  told 

Of  thy  lively  countenance. 

And  thy  humid  eyes  that  dance 

In  the  midst  of  their  own  brightness; 

In  the  very  fane  of  lightness. 

Over  which  thine  eyebrows,  leaning. 

Picture  out  each  lovely  meaning: 

In  a  dainty  bend  they  lie. 

Like  to  streaks  across  the  sky,  10 

Or  the  feathers  from  a  crow. 

Fallen  on  a  bed  of  snow. 

Of  thy  dark  hair,  that  extends 

Into  many  graceful  bends: 

As  the  leaves  of  Hellebore 

Turn  to  whence  they  sprung  before. 

And  behind  each  ample  curl 


12 


EARLY  POEMS 


ao 


Peeps  the  richness  of  a  pearl. 
Downward  too  flows  many  a  tress 
With  a  glossy  waviness; 
Full,  and  round  like  globes  that  rise 
From  the  censer  to  the  skies 
Through  sunny  air.    Add  too,  the  sweet- 
ness 
Of  thy  honied  voice;  the  neatness 
Of  thine  ankle  lightly  tum'd: 
With  those  beauties  scarce  discem'd, 
Kept  with  such  sweet  privacy, 
That  they  seldom  meet  the  eye 
Of  the  little  loves  that  fly 
Round  about  with  eager  pry.  30 

Saving  when,  with  freshening  lave, 
Thou  dipp'st  them  in  the  taintless  wave; 
Like  twin  water-lilies,  born 
In  the  coolness  of  the  mom. 
O,  if  thou  hadst  breathM  then. 
Now  the  Muses  had  been  ten. 
Couldst  thou  wish  for  lineage  higher 
Than  twin-sister  of  Thalia  ? 
At  least  for  ever,  evermore 
Will  I  call  the  Graces  four.  40 

Hadst  thou  liv'd  when  chivalry 

Lifted  up  her  lance  on  high. 

Tell  me  what  thou  wouldst  have  been  ? 

Ah !  I  see  the  silver  sheen 

Of  thy  broider'd,  floating  vest 

Covering  half  thine  ivory  breast: 

Which,  O  heavens  f  I  should  see. 

But  that  cruel  destiny 

Has  plac'd  a  golden  cuirass  there; 

Keeping  secret  what  is  fair.  so 

Like  sunbeams  in  a  cloudlet  nested 

Thy  locks  in  knightly  casque  are  rested: 

O'er  which  bend  four  milky  plumes 

Like  the  gentle  lily's  blooms 

Springing  from  a  costly  vase. 

See  with  what  a  stately  pace 

Comes  thine  alabaster  steed; 

Servant  of  heroic  deed  ! 

O'er  his  loins  his  trappings  glow 

Like  the  northern  lights  on  snow.  60 

Mount  his  back  !  thy  sword  unsheath  ! 

Sign  of  the  enchanter's  death; 

Bane  of  eyery  wicked  spell; 


Silencer  of  dragon's  yell. 
Alas  f  thou  this  wilt  never  do: 
Thou  art  an  enchantress  too. 
And  wilt  surely  never  spill 
Blood  of  those  whose  eyes  can  kilL 


SONNET 

Lord  Houghton  gives  the  date  of  1816.  It 
appears  in  the  Aldine  edition  of  1876. 

Ab  from  the  darkening  gloom  a  silver  dove 
Upsoars,  and  darts  into  the  eastern  light, 
On  pinions  that  nought  moves  but  pore 
delight, 
So  fled  thy  soul  into  the  realms  above, 
Regions  of  peace  and  everlasting  love; 
Where  happy  spirits,  crown'd  with  cir- 
clets bright 
Of  starry  beam,  and  gloriously  bedight. 
Taste  the  high  joy  none  but  the  blest  can 

prove. 
There  thou  or  joinest  the  immortal  quire 

In  melodies  that  even  heaven  fair 
Fill  with  superior  bliss,  or,  at  desire, 

Of  the  omnipotent  Father,  deav'st  the 
air 
On  holy  message  sent  —  What  pleasure 's 
higher  ? 
Wherefore  does  any  grief  our  joy  impair  ? 

SONNET   TO   SOLITUDE 

Published  m  The  Examiner,  5  May,  1816,  and 
the  first  piece  printed  by  Keats.  It  was  re- 
issued  in  the  1817  volume. 

O  Solitude  !  if  I  must  with  thee  dwell, 
Let  it  not  be  among  the  jumbled  heap 
Of  murky  buildings ;  climb  with  me  the 
steep,  — 
Nature's  observatory,  —  whence  the  dell, 
Its  flowery  slopes,  its  river's  crystal  swell. 
May  seem  a  span;  let  me  thy  vigils  keep 
'Mongst  boughs    pavilion'd,  ^ere  the 
deer's  swift  leap 
Startles  the  wild  bee  from  the  fo^loTe 
bell. 


i 


SONNET 


13 


But  thoagh  1 11  gladly  trace  these  scenes 
with  thee, 
Yet  the  sweet  conyerse  of  an  innocent 

mindy 
Whose  words  are  images  of  thoughts  re- 
fin'd, 
Is  my  sours  pleasure;  and  it  sure  must  be 
Almost  the  highest  bliss  of  human-kind, 
When  to  thy  haunts  two  kindred  spirits  flee. 


SONNET 

Geovge  Keati  has  a  memorandum  on  this 
•onnety  'written  in  the  Fields,  June,  1816.' 
Published  in  the  1817  volume. 

To  one  who  has  been  long  in  city  pent, 
T  is  very  sweet  to  look  into  the  fair 
And  open  face  of  heaven, — to  breathe 
a  prayer 
Fnll  in  the  smile  of  the  blue  firmament. 
Who  is  more  happy,  when,  with   hearts 
content, 
Fatigued  he  sinks  into  some  pleasant  lair 
Of  wavy  grass,  and  reads  a  debonair 
And  gentle  tale  of  love  and  languishment  ? 
Betaming  home  at  evening,  with  an  ear 

Catching  the  notes  of  Philomel,  —  an  eye 
Watching  the  sailing  cloudlet's  bright  ca- 
reer. 
He  mourns  that  day  so  soon  has  glided 
by: 
E'en  like  the  passage  of  an  angel's  tear 
That  falls  through  the  dear  ether  si- 
lently. 


TO  A    FRIEND    WHO   SENT    ME 
SOME   ROSES 

Tlie  friend  was  Charles  J.  WeUs,  author  of 
the  diamatio  poem  Joseph  and  his  Brethren, 
which  was  published  in  1824,  when  it  died  al- 
most at  once  and  was  recalled  to  life  by  a  few 
words  printed  by  D.  G.  Rossetti  in  1863,  and  has 
been  reprinted  for  the  curious.  In  Tom 
I's  copy  book  the  sonnet  is  dated  29  June, 
I8I61.    It  18  included  in  the  volume  of  1817. 


Ab  late  I  rambled  in  the  happy  fields. 
What  time  the  skylark  shakes  the  tremu- 
lous dew 
From  his  lush  clover  covert ;  —  when  anew 
Adventurous  knights  take  up  their  dinted 

shields: 
I  saw  the  sweetest  flower  wild  nature  yields, 
A  fresh-blown  musk-rose;  't  was  the  first 

that  threw 
Its  sweets  upon  the  summer:  graceful  it 
grew 
As  is  the  wand  that  Queen  Titania  wields. 
And,  as  I  feasted  on  its  fragrancy, 

I  thought  the  garden-rose  it  far  ezcell'd: 
But  when,  O  Wells  I  thy  roses  came  to  me. 
My  sense  with  their  deliciousness  was 
spell'd: 
Soft  voices  had  they,  that  with  tender  plea 
Whisper'd    of    peace,    and    truth,    and 
friendliness  unquell'd. 


SONNET 

First  printed  by  Lord  Houghton  in  the  Life, 
Letters  and  Literary  Bemains,  with  the  date 
1816. 

Oh  !  how  I  love,  on  a  fsir  sunmier's  eve. 
When  streams  of  light  pour  down  the 

golden  west, 
And  on  the  balmy  zephyrs  tranquil  rest 
The  silver  clouds,  far  —  far  away  to  leave 
All  meaner  thoughts,  and  take  a  sweet  re- 
prieve 
From  little  cares;  to  find,  with  easy  quest, 
A  fragrant  wild,  with  Nature's  beauty 
drest. 
And  there  into  delight  my  soul  deceive. 
There  warm  my  breast  with  patriotic  lore. 
Musing  on  Milton's  fate  —  on  Sydney's 
bier  — 
Till  their  stem  forms  before  my  mind 
arise: 
Perhaps  on  wings  of  Poesy  upsoar, 
Full  often  dropping  a  delicious  tear. 
When  some  melodious  sorrow  spells 
mine  eyes. 


14 


EARLY  POEMS 


«I   STOOD  TIPTOE  UPON  A 
LITTLE   HILL' 

*  PlAcea  of  nestling  green,  for  poete  made.* 

Lkioh  Huvt,  The  Story  of  Bimini, 

Leigh  Hunt,  in  Lord  Byron  and  Some  of  His 
Contemporaries,  says  that  *  this  poem  was  sug- 
gested to  Keats  by  a  delightful  summer^s  day 
as  he  stood  beside  the  gate  that  leads  from  the 
Battery  on  Hampstead  Heath  into  a  field  by 
Caen  Wood ;  '  but  it  is  not  needful  for  one  to 
put  himself  into  the  same  geographical  position. 
It  is  more  to  the  point  to  remember  that  when 
Keats  wrote  the  lines  which  here  follow  he  was 
liTing  in  the  Vale  of  Health  in  Hampstead, 
happy  in  the  association  of  Hunt  and  kindred 
spirits,  and  trembling  with  the  consciousness  of 
his  oi|n  poetic  power.  He  had  not  yet  essayed 
a  long  flight,  as  in  Endymion ;  but  these  lines 
indeed  were  written  as  a  prelude  to  a  poem 
which  he  was  devising,  which  should  narrate 
the  loves  of  Diana,  and  it  will  be  seen  how, 
with  circling  flight,  he  draws  nearer  and  nearer 
to  his  theme ;  but  after  all,  his  song  ends  with 
«half  ai^tated  and  passionate  speculation  over 
his  own  poetic  birth.  The  date  of  the  poem, 
which  is  the  first  after  the  dedication,  in  the 
1817  volume,  was  presumably  in  the  summer 
of  1816,  for  Keats  appears  to  have  written 
promptly  under  the  stimulus  of  momentary 
experience. 

I  STOOD  tiptoe  upon  a  little  hill, 
The  air  was  cooling,  and  so  very  still 
That  the  sweet  buds  which  with  a  modest 

pride 
Pull  droopiiigly,  in  slanting  curve  aside. 
Their  scanily-leaved  and  finely   tapering 

stems. 
Had  not  yet  lost  those  starry  diadems 
Caught  (torn,  the  early  sobbing  of  the  mom. 
The  clouds  were  pure  and  white  as  flocks 

new  shorn, 
And  fresh  from  the  clear  brook;  sweetly 

they  slept 
On  the  blue  fields  of  heaven,  and  then  there 

crept  zo 

A  little  noiseless  noise  among  the  leaves, 
Bom  of  the  very  sigh  that  silence  heaves: 
For  not  the  faintest  motion  could  be  seen 


Of  all  the  shades  that  slanted  o'er  the  green. 
There  was  wide  wand'ring  for  the  g^reedi- 

est  eye 
To  peer  about  upon  variety; 
Far  Toond  the  horizon's  crystal  air  to  skim, 
And  trace  the  dwindled  edgings  of  its  brim; 
To    picture  out  the  quaint  and    ourions 

bending 
Of  a  fresh  woodland  alley,  never-ending;  20 
Or  by  the  bowery  clefts,  and  leafy  shelves, 
Guess  where  the  jaunty  streams  refresh 

themselves. 
I  gazed  awhile,  and  felt  as  light  and  free 
As  though  the  fanning  wings  of  Meroury 
Had  played  upon  my  heels:  I  was  light- 
hearted. 
And  many  pleasures  to  my  vision  started; 
So  I  straightway  began  to  pluck  a  posey 
Of  luxuries  bright,  milky,  soft,  and  rosy. 

A  bush  of  May  flowers  with  the  bees 
about  them; 

Ah,  sure  no  tasteful  nook  could  be  without 
them ;  30 

And  let  a  lush  laburnum  oversweep  them. 

And  let  long  grass  grow  round  the  roots 
to  keep  them 

Moist,  cool,  and  g^reen;  and  shade  the  vio- 
lets. 

That  they  may  bind  the  moss  in  leafy  nets. 

A  filbert   hedge  with  wild  briar  over- 
twined. 
And  clumps  of  woodbine  taking  the  soft 

wind 
Upon  their  summer   thrones;    there    too 

should  be 
The  frequent  chequer  of  a  youngling  tree. 
That  with  a  score  of  light  green  brethren 

shoots 
From  the  quaint  mossiness  of  aged  roots:  40 
Round  which  is  heard  a  spring-head  of 

clear  waters 
Babbling  so  wildly  of  its  lovely  daughters 
The  spreading  blue-bells:  it  may  haply 

mourn 
That  such  fair  clusters  should  be  rudely 

torn 


I   STOOD  TIPTOE  UPON   A  LITTLE   HILL 


IS 


Am  tbeb    fresh    beds,    and    scattered 

tlioiiglitlessly 
Bj  iaiut  hands,  left  on  the  path  to  die. 

Open  afresh  yoor  roond  of  starry  f olds, 
Ts  anient  marigolds  I 

Jkj  np  the  moistare  from  yoor  golden  lids. 
For  great  Apollo  bids  50 

Ikit  in  these  days  yoor  praises  shoold  be 

song 
Oi  Bsny  harps,  which  he  has  lately  strung; 
Asd  when  again  your  dewiness  he  kisses, 
Tcil  Ima,  I  haTO  you  in  my  world  of  blisses: 
Sskaply  when  I  rove  in  some  far  vale, 
Hh  migfat]r  Toioe  may  come  upon  the  gale. 

Hers  are  sweet  peas,  on  tiptoe  for  a 

flight: 
^^  wings  of  gentle  flush  o'er  delicate 

white, 
iii  tsper  fingers  catching  at  all  things. 
To  bind  them  all  abont  with  tiny  rings.     60 

lii^  awhile  upon  some  bending  planks 
1^  lesn  against  a  streamlet's  rushy  banks, 
U  witeh  intently  Nature's  gentle  doings: 
TWj  will  be  found  softer  than  ring-dove's 


Htvdent  comes  the  water  round  that  bend ; 
fcthe  minutest  whisper  does  it  send 
Mtke  o'erhanging  sallows:  blades  of  grass 
■■vly  across  the  chequer'd  shadows  pass. 
^)  jon  might  read  two  sonnets,  ere  they 

reach 
^  vfaere  the  hurrying    freshnesses  aye 

pceech  70 

asteil  sermon  o'er  their  pebbly  beds; 
*^  twanns  of  minnows  show  their  little 

^yttj  their    wavy    bodies    'gainst   the 


'o^Hte  the  luxury  of  sunny  beams 
''■^d  with  coolness.      How  they  ever 

wrestle 
^  their  own  sweet  delight,  and  ei^er 

nestle 
Qeir  alfer  bellies  on  the  pebbly  sand. 
«  joa  bat  scantily  hold  out  the  hand. 


That  very  instant  not  one  will  remain; 
But  turn  your  eye,  and  they  are  there  again. 
The  ripples  seem  right  glad  to  reach  those 

cresses,  81 

And  cool  themselves  among  the  em'rald 

tresses; 
The  while  they  cool  themselves,  they  fresh- 
ness give, 
And  moisture,  that  the  bowery  green  may 

live: 
So  keeping  up  an  interchange  of  favours. 
Like  good  men  in  the  truth  of  their  be- 
haviours. 
Sometimes  goldfinchei^  one  by  one  will  drop 
From  low-hung  branches;  little  space  they 

stop; 
But  sip,  and  twitter,  and  their  feathers 

sleek; 
Then  off  at  once,  as  in  a  wanton  freak:     90 
Or  perhaps,  to  show  their  black,  and  golden 

wings. 
Pausing  upon  their  yellow  flutterings. 
Were  I  in  such  a  place,  I  sure  should  pray 
That  nought  less  sweet,  might  caU  my 

thoughts  away. 
Than  the  soft  rustle  of  a  maiden's  gown 
Fanning  away  the  dandelion's  down; 
Than  the  light  music  of  her  nimble  toes 
Patting  against  the  sorrel  as  she  goes. 
How  she  would  start,  and  blush,  thus  to  be 

caught 
Playing  in  all  her  innocence  of  thought.  100 
O  let  me  lead  her  gently  o'er  the  brook. 
Watch  her  half-smiling  lips,  and  downward 

look; 
O  let  me  for  one  moment  touch  her  wrist; 
Let  me  one  moment  to  her  breathing  list; 
And  as  she  leaves  me,  may  she  often  turn 
Her  fair  eyes  looking  through  her  locks  au- 

bume. 
What  next  ?    A  tuft  of  evening  primroses. 
O'er  which  the  mind  may  hover  till  it  dozes; 
O'er  which  it  well  might  take  a  pleasant 

sleep, 
But  that 't  is  ever  startled  by  the  leap      no 
Of  buds  into  ripe  flowers;  or  by  the  flitting 
Of  diverse  moths,  that  aye  their  rest  are 

quitting; 


i6 


EARLY   POEMS 


Or  by  the  moon  lifting  her  silver  rim 
Above  a  clond,  and  with  a  gradual  swim 
Coming  into  the  blue  with  all  her  light. 
O  Maker  of  sweet  poets,  dear  delight 
Of  this  fair  world,  and  aU  its  gentle  livers; 
Spangler  of  clouds,  halo  of  crystal  rivers, 
Mingler  with  leaves,  and  dew  and  tumbling 

streams, 
Closer  of  lovely  eyes  to  lovely  dreams,    lao 
Lover  of  loneliness,  and  wandering, 
Of  upcast  eye,  and  tender  pondering  f 
Thee  must  I  praise  above  all  other  glo- 
ries 
That  smile  us  on  to  tell  delightful  stories. 
For  what  has  made  the  sage  or  poet  write 
But  the  fair  paradise  of  Nature's  light  ? 
In  the  calm  grandeur  of  a  sober  line, 
We  see  the  waving  of  the  mountain  pine; 
And  when  a  tale  is  beautifully  staid. 
We  feel  the  safety  of  a  hawthorn  glade:  130 
When  it  is  moving  on  luxurious  wings. 
The  soul  is  lost  in  pleasant  smotherings: 
Fair  dewy  roses  brush  against  our  faces. 
And  flowering  laurels  spring  from  diamond 

vases; 
O'erhead  we  see  the  jasmine  and  sweet- 
briar, 
And  bloomy  grapes  laughing  from  g^en 

attire; 
While  at  our  feet,  the   voice   of  crystal 

bubbles 
Charms  us  at  once  away  from  all  our  trou- 
bles: 
So  that  we  feel  uplifted  from  the  world, 
Walking  upon  the  white  clouds  wreath'd 
and  curPd.  140 

So  felt  he,  who  first   told,  how  Psyche 

went 
On  the  smooth  wind  to  realms  of  wonder- 
ment; 
What  Psyche  felt,  and  Love,  when  their 

full  lips 
First  touch'd;  what  amorous  and  fondling 

nips 
They  gave  each  other^s  cheeks;  with  all 

their  sighs. 
And  how  they  kist  each  other's  tremulous 
eyes: 


The  silver  lamp,  —  the  ravishment, — the 

wonder — 
The  darkness, — loneliness,  —  the   feazfbl 

thunder; 
Their  woes  gone  by,  and  both  to  heaven  np- 

flown,  i4f 

To  bow  for  gratitude  before  Jove's  throne. 
So  did  he   feel,   who   pulled  the   benght 

aside, 
That  we  might  look  into  a  forest  wide, 
To  catch  a  glimpse  of  Fauns,  and  Dryades 
Coming  with  softest  rustle  through  the 

trees; 
And  garlands  woven  of  flowers  wild,  and 

sweet. 
Upheld  on  ivory  wrists,  or  sporting  feet: 
Telling  us  how  fair,  trembling  Syrinx  fled 
Arcadian  Pan,  with  such  a  fearful  dread. 
Poor  Nymph,  —  poor  Pan,  —  how  he  did^ 

weep  to  find 
Nought  but  a  lovely  sighing  of  the  wind 
Along  the  reedy  stream ;  a  half-heard 
Full  of  sweet  desolation  —  balmy  pain. 

What  first  inspired  a  bard  of  old  to  sing 
Narcissus  pining  o'er  the  untainted  spring^ 
In  some  delicious  ramble,  he  had  found 
A  little  space,  with  boughs  all  woven  roond^ 
And  in  the  midst  of  all,  a  clearer  pool 
Than  e'er  reflected  in  its  pleasant  cool. 
The  blue  sky  here,  and  there,  serenely 

ing 
Through  tendril  wreaths  fantastically 

ing. 

And  on  the  bank  a  lonely  flower  he  8|nedy 
A  meek  and  forlorn  flower,  with  nangfat  of 

pride. 
Drooping  its  beauty  o'er  the  watery  dear* 

ness. 
To  woo  its  own  sad  image  into  nearness: 
Deaf  to  light  Zephjrrus  it  would  not  move; 
But  still  would  seem  to  droop,  to  pine,  to 

love. 
So  while  the  Poet  stood  in  this  sweet  tpcit, 
Some  fainter    gloamings   o'er    his    fuMf 

shot; 
Nor  was  it  long  ere  he  had  told  the  tale 
Of  young  Narcissus,  and  sad  Echo's  bale.  ■•» 


I   STOOD  TIPTOE  UPON  A  LITTLE  HILL 


17 


When  htd  he  been,  from  whose  warm 
heidoiitflew 
Tkti  iieetosi  of  all  songs,  that  ever  new, 
Hit  tje  isfreshing,  pore  delicionsness, 
CMBig  ever  to  bless 
Ik  vtnderer    by    moonlight?    to    him 


from  the  inTisible  world,  unearthly 
Bnging 
Fnoi  out  the  middle  axt,   from  flowery 


iii  from  the  pillowy  silkiness  that  rests 
lUl  io  the  speculation  of  the  stars.  189 

'    Ah !  auely  he  had  burst  our  mortal  bars; 
btonne  wond'rous  region  he  had  gone, 
ToMieh  for  thee,  divine  Endymion  f 

He  WIS  a  Poet,  sure  a  loyer  too, 
Wh»  ilood  on  Latmus'  top,  what   time 

there  blew 
Mhneses  from  the  myrtle  vale  below; 
Aid  hrooght  in  faintness  solemn,  sweet, 

lad  slow 
A  hymn  from  Dian's  temple;  while  up- 

fwelling, 
ui  neeose  went  to  her  own  starry  dwell- 

Ait  theegfa  her  face  was  clear  as  infant's 
eyes,  199 

ung^  she  stood  smiling  o'er  the  sacrifice, 
&  Poet  wept  at  her  so  piteous  fate, 
Vift  that  such  beauty  should  be  deso- 
late: 
&  ■  fiae  wrath  some  golden  sounds  he  won, 
Aai  fvre  meek  Cynthia  her  £ndymion. 


of  the  wide  air;  thou  most  lovely 


OfsUthe  brightness  that  mine  eyes  have 

aeenl 
Ai  lho«  exeeedest  all  things  in  thy  shine, 
Seevciy  tale,  does  this  sweet  tale  of  thine. 
0  ht  thiee  words  of  honey,  that  I  might 
U  bat  mm  wonder  of  thy  bridal  night  f  2 10 


distant  ships  do  seem  to  show 
their  keels, 
awhile  delayed  hb  mighty  wheels. 


And  tnm'd  to  smile  upon  thy  bashful  eyes. 
Ere    he   his   unseen  pomp  would  solem* 

nize. 
The  evening  weather  was  so  bright,  and 

clear. 
That  men  of  health  were  of  unusual  cheer; 
Stepping  like    Homer    at    the    trumpet's 

call. 
Or  young  Apollo  on  the  pedestal: 
And  lovely  women  were  as  fair  and  warm. 
As  Venus  looking  sideways  in  alarm.       »ao 
The  breezes  were  ethereal,  and  pure. 
And  crept  through  half  closed  lattices  to 

cure 
The  languid  sick;  it  cool'd  their  fever'd 

sleep, 
And  soothed  them  into  slumbers  full  and 

deep. 
Soon  they  awoke    clear-eyed:   nor  burnt 

with  thirsting, 
Nor  with  hot  fingers,  nor  with  temples 

bursting: 
And  springing  up,  they  met  the  wond'ring 

sight 
Of  their  dear  friends,  nigh  foolish  with 

delight; 
Who  feel  their  arms,  and  breasts,  and  kiss 

and  stare. 
And  on  their  placid  foreheads  part  the 

hair.  330 

Young  men  and  maidens  at  each  other 

gaz'd. 
With   hands   held  back,  and    motionless, 

amaz'd 
To  see  the  brightness  in  each  other's  eyes; 
And  so  they  stood,  fill'd  with  a  sweet  sur- 
prise, 
Until  their  tongues  were  loos'd  in  poesy. 
Therefore  no  lover  did  of  anguish  die: 
But  the  soft  numbers,   in  that    moment 

spoken, 
Made  silken  ties,  that  never  may  be  broken. 
Cynthia  !  I  cannot  tell  the  greater  blisses 
That  foUow'd  thine,  and  thy  dear  shep- 
herd's kisses:  340 
Was  there  a  Poet  bom  ?  —  But  now  no 

more. 
My  wand'ring  spirit  must  no  further  soar. 


i8 


EARLY  POEMS 


SLEEP  AND  POETRY 

The  last  poem  in  the  1817  yolnme.  Charles 
Oowden  Clarke  relates  that  *it  was  in  the 
lihrary  of  Hunt's  cottage,  where  an  extempore 
bed  had  been  put  up  for  Keats  on  the  sofa,  that 
he  composed  the  framework  and  many  lines 
of  this  poem,  the  last  sixty  or  seventy  being 
an  inventory  of  the  art  garniture  of  the  room.' 
It  may  be  assigned  to  the  summer  of  1816. 

As  I  Uy  in  my  bed  alepe  full  tinmete 
Wm  unto  me,  bat  why  that  I  ne  might 
Rest  I  ne  wiit,  for  there  n*  m  erthly  wight 
(Aa  I  suppose)  had  more  of  hertis  ese 
Than  I,  for  I  n*  ad  dcknesee  nor  disese. 

Cbauosb. 

What  is  more  gentle  than  a  wind  in  sum- 
mer? 

What  is  more  soothing  than  the  pretty 
hammer 

That  stays  one  moment  in  an  open  flower, 

And  buzzes  cheerily  from  bower  to  bower  ? 

What  is  more  tranquil  than  a  musk-rose 
blowing 

In  a  g^en  island,  far  from  all  men's  know- 
ing? 

More  healthful  than  the  leafiness  of  dales  ? 

More  secret  than  a  nest  of  nightingales  ? 

More  serene  than  Cordelia's  countenance  ? 

More  full  of  visions  than  a  high  romance  ? 

What,  but  thee,  Sleep  ?  Soft  closer  of  our 
eyes!  n 

Low  murmurer  of  tender  lullabies  ! 

Light  hoverer  around  our  happy  pillows ! 

Wreather  of  poppy  buds,  and  weeping 
willows ! 

Silent  entangler  of  a  beauty's  tresses  ! 

Most  happy  listener !  when  the  morning 
blesses 

Thee  for  enlivening  all  the  cheerful  eyes 

That  glance  so  brightly  at  the  new  sun- 
rise. 

But  what  is  higher  beyond  thought  than 

thee? 
Fresher  than  berries  of  a  mountain-tree  ? 
More  strange,  more  beautiful,  more  smooth, 

more  regal,  ai 


Than  wings  of  swans,  than  doves,  than  dim- 
seen  eagle  ? 
What  is  it  ?    And  to  what  shall  I  compare 

it? 
It  has  a  glory,  and  nought  else  can  shaxe  it: 
The  thought  thereof  is  awful,  sweet,  and 

holy. 
Chasing  away  all  worldliness  and  folly: 
Coming  sometimes  like  fearful  claps  of 

thunder, 
Or  the  low  rumblings  earth's  regions  un- 
der; 
And  sometimes  like  a  gentle  whispering  99 
Of  all  the  secrets  of  some  wond'rons  thin^ 
That  breathes  about  us  in  the  vacant  air; 
So  that  we  look  around  with  prying  stare. 
Perhaps  to  see  shapes  of  light,  aerial  lim- 
ning; 
And  catch  soft  floatings  from  a  faint-heard 

hymning; 
To  see  the  laurel  wreath,  on  high  suspended. 
That  is  to  crown  our  name  when  life  is 

ended. 
Sometimes  it  gives  a  glory  to  the  voice. 
And  from  the  heart  up-springs,  rejoice  I 

rejoice ! 
Soimds  which  will  reach  the  Framer  of  all 

things, 
And  die  away  in  ardent  mutterings.  40 

No  one  who  once  the  glorious  son  has 
seen, 
And  all  the  clouds,  and  felt  his  bosom  clean 
For  his  great  Maker's  presence,  but  most 

know 
What 't  is  I  mean,  and  feel  his  being  glow: 
Therefore  no  insult  will  I  give  his  spirit. 
By  telling  what  he  sees  from  native  merit. 

O  Poesy  !  for  thee  I  hold  my  pen. 
That  am  not  yet  a  glorious  denizen 
Of  thy  wide  heaven  —  should  I  rather  kneel 
Upon  some  mountain-top  until  I  feel         $0 
A  growing  splendour  round  about  me  hong. 
And  echo  back  the  voice  of  thine  own 

tongue  ? 
O  Poesy  !  for  thee  I  grasp  my  pen. 
That  am  not  yet  a  glorious  denizen 


I 


SLEEP  AND   POETRY 


19 


Of  thy  wide  heaven;  yet,  to  my  ardent 

prayer. 
Yield  from  thy  sanctuary  some  clear  air, 
Smoothed  for  intoxication  by  the  breath 
Of  flowering  bays,  that  I  may  die  a  death 
Of  loznry,  and  my  yonng  spirit  follow 
The  morning  sunbeams  to  the  great  Apollo 
Like  a  fresh  sacrifice;  or,  if  I  can  bear    61 
The  overwhelming  sweets,  'twill  bring  to 

me  the  fair 
Visions  of  all  places:  a  bowery  nook 
Will  be  elysium  —  an  eternal  book 
Whence  I  may  copy  many  a  lovely  saying 
About  the  leaves,  and  flowers  —  about  the 

playing 
Of  nymphs  in  woods,  and  fountains;  and 

the  shade 
Keeping  a  silence  round  a  sleeping  maid; 
And  many  a  verse  from  so  strange  influence 
That  we  must  ever  wonder  how,  and  whence 
It  eame.     Also  imaginings  will  hover       71 
Round  my  fire-side,  and  haply  there  dis- 
cover 
Vistas  of  solemn  beauty,  where  I  'd  wander 
In  happy  silence,  like  the  clear  Meander 
Thzoagh  its  lone  vales;  and  where  I  found 

a  spot 
Of  awfuller  shade,  or  an  enchanted  grot. 
Or  a  green  hill  o'erspread  with  chequer'd 

dress 
Of  flowers,  and  fearful  from  its  loveliness, 
Write  on  my  tablets  all  that  was  permitted, 
All  that  was  for  our  human  senses  fitted. 
Then  the  events  of  this  wide  world  I'd 

seize  81 

Like  a  strong  g^ant,  and  my  spirit  tease 
Till  at  its  shoulders  it  should  proudly  see 
Wings  to  find  out  an  immortality. 

Stop  and  consider  !  life  is  but  a  day; 
A  fragile  dewdrop  on  its  perilous  way 
From  a  tree's  summit;  a  poo^  Indian's  sleep 
While  his  boat  hastens  to  the  monstrous 


^  steep 


r      I 


/ 


Of  Montmorenci.    Why  so  sad  a  moan  ? 
Life  is  the  rose's  hope  while  yet  unblown; 
The  reading  of  an  ever-changing  tale; 
Hie  light  uplifting  of  a  maiden's  veil; 


9» 


100 


A  pigeon  tumbling  in  clear  summer  air; 
A  laughing  school-boy,  without  grief  or 

care. 
Riding  the  springy  branches  of  an  elm. 

O  for  ten  years,  that  I  may  overwhelm 
Myself  in  poesy;  so  I  may  do  the  deed 
That  my  own  soul  has  to  itself  decreed. 
Then  I  will  pass  the  countries  that  I  see 
In  long  perspective,  and  continually 
Taste  their  pure  fountains.    First  the  realm 

I  '11  pass 
Of  Flora,  and  old  Pan:  sleep  in  the  grass. 
Feed  upon  apples  red,  and  strawberries, 
And  choose  each  pleasure  that  my  fancy 

sees; 
Catch  the  white-handed  nymphs  in  shady 

places, 
To  woo  sweet  kisses  from  averted  faces,  — 
Play  with  their  fingers,  touch  their  shoul- 
ders white 
Into  a  pretty  shrinking  with  a  bite 
As  hard  as  lips  can  make  it:  till  agreed, 
A  lovely  tale  of  human  life  we  '11  read,   no 
And  one  will  teach  a  tame  dove  how  it  best 
May  fan  the  cool  air  gently  o'er  my  rest; 
Another,  bending  o'er  her  nimble  tread. 
Will  set  a  green  robe  floating  round  her 

head. 
And  still  will  dance  with  ever-varied  ease. 
Smiling  upon  the  flowers  and  the  trees: 
Another  will  entice  me  on,  and  on 
Through  almond  blossoms  and  rich  cinna- 


\ 


mon; 


Till  in  the  bosom  of  a  leafy  world 

We  rest  in  silence,  like  two  gems  upcurl'd 

In  the  recesses  of  a  pearly  shell. 


131 


And  can  I  ever  bid  these  joys  farewell  ? 
Yes,  I  must  pass  them  for  a  nobler  life. 
Where  I  may  find  the  agonies,  the  strife 
Of  human  hearts:  for  lo !  I  see  afar, 
O'er-sailing  the  blue  cragginess,  a  car 
And    steeds    with    streamy  manes  —  the 

charioteer 
Looks  out  upon  the  winds  with  glorious  fear: 
And  now  the  numerous  tramplings  quiver 

lighUy 


20 


EARLY  POEMS 


Along  a  huge  cloud's  ridge;  and  now  with 
sprighdj  130 

Wheel  downward  come  they  into  fresher 
skieSy 

lipt  round  with  silver  from  the  sun's  bright 
eyes. 

Still  downward  with  capacious  whirl  they 
glide; 

And  now  I  see  them  on  a  green-hill's  side 

In  breeasy  rest  among  the  nodding  stalks. 

The  charioteer  with  wond'rous  gesture 
talks 

To  the  trees  and  mountains;  and  there  soon 
appear 

Shapes  of  delight,  of  mystery,  and  fear, 

Passing  along  before  a  dusky  space 

Made  by  some  mighty  oaks:  as  they  would 
chase  140 

Some  ever-fleeting  music,  on  they  sweep. 

Lo  f  how  they  murmur,  laugh,  and  smile, 
and  weep: 

Some  with  upholden  hand  and  month  severe; 

Some  with  their  faces  muffled  to  the  ear 

Between  their  arms;  some,  clear  in  youth- 
ful bloom, 

Go  glad  and  smilingly  athwart  the  gloom; 

Some  looking  back,  and  some  with  upward 
gaze; 

Yes,  thousands  in  a  thousand  different  ways 

Flit  onward  —  now  a  lovely  wreath  of  g^rls 

Dancing  their  sleek  hair  into  tangled  curls; 

And  now  broad  wings.  Most  awfully  in- 
tent 151 

The  driver  of  those  steeds  is  forward  bent. 

And  seems  to  listen:  O  that  I  might  know 

All  that  he  writes  with  such  a  hurrying 
glow. 

The  visions  all  are  fled  —  the  car  is  fled 
Into  the  light  of  heaven,  and  in  their  stead 
A  sense  of  real  things  comes  doubly  strong. 
And,  like  a  muddy  stream,  would  bear 

along 
My  soul  to  nothingness:  but  I  will  strive 
Against  all  doubtings,  and  will  keep  alive 
The  thought  of  that  same  chariot,  and  the 

strange  161 

Journey  it  went. 


Is  there  so  small  a  range 
In  the  present  strength  of  manhood,  that 

the  high 
Imagination  cannot  freely  fly 
As  she  was  wont  of  old  ?    prepare  her 

steeds. 
Paw  up  against  the  light,  and  do  strange 

deeds 
Upon  the  clouds  ?     Has  she  not  shewn  us 

all? 
Prom  the  clear  space  of  ether,  to  the  small 
Breath  of  new  buds  unfolding  ?    From  the 

meaning 
Of  Jove's  large  eyebrow,  to  the  tender 

greening  170 

Of  April  meadows  ?  here  her  altar  shone, 
E'en  in  this  isle;  and  who  could  paragon 
The  fervid  choir  that  lifted  up  a  noise 
Of  harmony,  to  where  it  aye  will  poise 
Its  mighty  self  of  convoluting  sound, 
Huge  as  a  planet,  and  like  that  roll  rounds 
Eternally  around  a  dizzy  void  ? 
Ay,  in  those  days  the   Muses  were   nigh 

cloy'd 
liVith  honours;  nor  had  any  other  care 
Than  to  sing  out  and  soothe  their  wavy 

hair.  180 

Could  all  this  be  forgotten  ?    Yes,  a 
schism 
Nurtured  by  foppery  and  barbarism, 
Made  great  Apollo  blush  for  this  his  land. 
Men  were  thought  wise  who  conld  not  un- 
derstand 
His  glories:  with  a  puling  infant's  force 
They  sway'd  about  upon  a  rocking-horse, 
And  thought  it  Pegasus.  Ah,  dismal-sool'd  f 
The    winds   of   heaven    blew,    the   ocean 

roU'd 
Its  gathering  waves  —  ye  felt  it  not.    The 

blue 
Bared  its  eternal  bosom,  and  the  dew       190 
Of  summer  nights  collected  still  to  make 
The  morning  precious:  beauty  was  awake  I 
Why  were  ye  not  awake  ?     But  ye  were 

dead 
To  things  ye  knew  not  of,  —  were  closely 
wed 


SLEEP  AND   POETRY 


21 


To  wnatj  laws  lined  oat  with  wretched 

nJe 
Aid  eoaipua  vile:  so  that  ye  taught  a 

•ehool 
0!  dolts  to  smooth,  iiday,  and  clip,  and 

fit, 
Tin,  like  the  certain  wands  of  Jacob's  wit, 
Tkir  ?erM8  tallied.     Easy  was  the  task: 
Athotsand  handicraftsmen  wore  the  mask 
Of  Poesy.    Ill-fated,  impious  race  !         soi 
Hit  Ua^hem'd  the  bright  Lyrist  to  his 

face. 
Aid  did  not  know  it,  —  no,  they  went  about, 
HaldiDg  a  poor,  decrepid  standard  out, 
Xnk'dwith  most  flimsy  mottoes,  and  in 

large 
Tk  Mine  of  one  Boileau  ! 


O  ye  whose  charge 
It  ii  to  borer  round  our  pleasant  hills  ! 
^Wm  congregated  majesty  so  fills 
Vt  bosadly  reverence,  that  I  cannot  trace 
Tnr  biDowed  names,  in  this  unholy  place, 
StMir  those  coomion  folk;  did  not  their 
ihames  an 

^infjtA  yoa?       Did  our  old  lamenting 

Thames 
Mgkt  700  ?  did  ye  never  cluster  round 
MfiflMs  Avon,  with  a  mournful  sound, 
Aid  weep  ?    Or  did  ye  wholly  bid  adieu 
To  NgioBs  where  no  more  the  laurel  grew  ? 
^did  yo  stay  to  give  a  welcoming 
1*  MBS  lone  spirits  who  could  proudly 

ang 
nar  yoath  away,  and  die  ?     T  was  even 
to:  219 

Bit  let  me  think  away  those  times  of  woe: 
lov  'tig  a  fiurer  season;  ye  have  breathed 
Kek  beaedietions  o'er  us;  ye  have  wreathed 
f^  fttlands:  for  sweet  music  has  been 

heard 
Ii  muj  places;  —  some  has  been  upstirr'd 
fna  oat  its  crystal  dwelling  in  a  lake, 
%aswaa's  ebon  bill;  from  a  thick  brake, 
and  qoiet  in  a  valley  mild, 

a  pipe;  fine  sounds  are  floating 
wild 
ihtmt  the  earth:  happy  are  ye  and  glad. 


These  things  are,  doubtless;  yet  in  truth 

we  've  had  230 

Strange  thunders  from  the  potency  of  song; 
Mingled  indeed  with  what  is  sweet  and 

strong 
From  majesty:  but  in  clear  truth  the  themes 
Are  ugly  clubs,  the  Poets  Polyphemes 
Disturbing  the  grand  sea.      A  drainless 

shower 
Of  light  is  Poesy;   'tis  the   supreme  of 

power; 
'T  is  might  half  slumb'ringon  its  own  right 

arm. 
The  very  archings  of  her  eyelids  charm 
A  thousand  willing  agents  to  obey. 
And  still  she  governs  with  the  mildest  sway: 
But  strength  alone  though  of  the  Muses 

born  241 

Is  like  a  fallen  angel:  trees  uptom. 
Darkness,   and   worms,  and  shrouds,  and 

sepulchres 
Delight  it;  for  it  feeds  upon  the  burrs 
And  thorns  of  life;  forgetting  the  great 

end 
Of  Poesy,  that  it  should  be  a  friend 
To  soothe  the  cares,  and  lift  the  thoughts 

of  man. 

Tet  I  rejoice:  a  myrtle  fairer  than       148 
E'er  grew  in  Paphos,  from  the  bitter  weeds 
Lifts  its  sweet  head  into  the  air,  and  feeds 
A  silent  space  with  ever  sprouting  g^reen. 
All  tenderest  birds  there  find  a  pleasant 

screen, 
Creep  through  the  shade  with  jaunty  flut- 
tering, 
Nibble  the  little  cupped  flowers  and  sing. 
Then  let  us  clear  away  the  choking  thorns 
From  round  its  gentle  stem;  let  the  yoang 

fawns, 
YeanM  in  after-times,  when  we  are  flown. 
Find  a  fresh  sward  beneath  it,  overgrown 
With  simple  flowers:  let  there  nothing  be 
More  boisterous  than  a  lover's  bended  knee ; 
Nought  more  ungentle  than  the  placid  look 
Of  one  who  leans  upon  a  closed  book;      36a 
Nought  more  untranquil  than  the  grassy 
slopes 


22 


EARLY   POEMS 


Between  two  hills.     All  hail,  delightful 

hopes  ! 
As  she  was  wont,  th'  imagination 
Into  most  lovely  labyrinths  will  be  gone, 
And  they  shall  be  accounted  poet  kings 
Who  simply  tell  the  most  heart -easing 

things. 
O  may  these  joys  be  ripe  before  I  die. 

Will  not  some  say  that  I  presumptu- 
ously 270 
Have  spoken  ?  that  from  hastening  disgrace 
'T  were  better  far  to  hide  my  foolish  face  ? 
That  whining  boyhood  should  with  rever- 
ence bow 
Ere  the  dread  thunderbolt  could  reach? 

Howl 
If  I  do  hide  myself,  it  sure  shall  be 
In  the  very  fane,  the  light  of  Poesy  : 
If  I  do  fall,  at  least  I  will  be  laid 
Beneath  the  silence  of  a  poplar  shade  ; 
And  over  me  the  g^rass  shall  be  smooth 

shaven  ; 
And    there    shall    be    a    kind    memorial 
graven.  280 

But  off,  Despondence  !  miserable  bane  ! 
They  should  not  know  thee,  who  athirst  to 

gain 
A  noble  end,  are  thirsty  every  hour. 
What  though  I  am  not  wealthy  in  the  dower 
Of  spanning  wisdom  ;  though  I  do  not  know 
The  shiftings  of  the  mighty  winds  that 

blow 
Hither    and    thither    all    the    changing 

thoughts 
Of  man  :  though  no  great  minist'ring  rea- 
son sorts 
Out  the  dark  mysteries  of  human  souls 
To    dear    conceiving :    yet    there    ever 
rolls  390 

A  vast  idea  before  me,  and  I  glean 
Therefrom   my  liberty  ;  thence  too  I  've 

seen 
The  end  and  aim  of  Poesy.     'T  is  clear 
As  anything  most  true  ;  as  that  the  year 
Is  made  of  the  four  seasons  — >  manifest 
As  a  large  cross,  some    old    cathedral's 
crest. 


Lifted    to    the    white  clouds.    Therefoftt 

should  I 
Be  but  the  essence  of  deformity, 
A  coward,  did  my  very  eyelids  wink 
At  speaking  out  what  I  have  dared  t^ 

think. 
Ah  !  rather  let  me  like  a  madman  run 
Over  some  precipice  ;  let  the  hot  sun 
Melt  my  Dsedalian  wings,  and  drive 

down 
Convuls'd  and  headlong!     Stay!   an 

ward  frown 
Of  conscience  bids  me  be  more  calm  awhile. 
An  ocean  dim,  sprinkled  with  many  mi 

isle. 
Spreads  awfully  before  me.    How  mneii 

toil! 
How  many  days  !  what  desperate  turmoil  I 
Ere  I  can  have  explored  its  widenesaea. 
Ah,    what    a    task !    upon    my    bends! 

knees,  j» 

I  could  unsay  those  —  no,  impossible  I 
Impossible ! 

For  sweet  relief  1 11  dwell 
On  humbler  thoughts,  and  let  this  strange 

assay 
Begun  in  gentleness  die  so  away. 
E'en  now  all  tumult  from  my  bosom  fisdes  t 
I  turn  full-hearted  to  the  friendly  aids 
That  smooth  the  path  of  honour ;  brothel^ 

hood. 
And  friendliness  the  nurse  of  mutual 
The  hearty  grasp  that  sends  a  pl< 

sonnet 
Into  the  brain  ere  one  can  think  upon  it; 
The  silence  when  some  rhymes  are 

out ; 
And  when  they  're  come,  the  very  pl< 

rout: 

The  message  certain  to  be  done  to-moriow* 
'T  is  perhaps  as  well  that  it  should  bs 

borrow 
Some  precious  book   from  out   its 

retreat, 
To  cluster  round  it  when  we  next  uli*"" 

meet. 
Scarce  can  I  scribble  on ;  for  lovely  wa* 


I 


SLEEP  AND   POETRY 


23 


Are  flattering  round  the  room  like  doves  in 

pairs ; 

Many  delights  of  that  glad  day  recalling. 

When  first  my  senses  caught  their  tender 

falling.  330 

And  with  these  airs  come  forms  of  elegance 

Stooping    their    shoulders    o'er  a  horse's 

prance, 
Careless,    and    grand  —  fingers   soft    and 

round 
Partmg  luxuriant  curls ;  —  and  the  swift 

bound 
0!  Bacchus  from  his  chariot,  when  hie  eye 
Made  Ariadne's  cheek  look  blushingly. 
Thus  I  remember  all  the  pleasant  flow 
Of  words  at  opening  a  portfolio. 

Things  such  as  these  are  ever  harbingers 
To  trains  of  peaceful  images  :  the  stirs  340 
Of  a  swan's  neck  unseen  among  the  rushes : 
A  linnet  starting  all  about  the  bushes : 
A  butterfly,    with    golden    wings    broad 

parted. 
Nestling  a  rose,  convuls'd  as  though  it 

smarted 
With  oyer  pleasure  —  many,  many  more, 
Might  I  indulge  at  large  in  all  my  store 
Of  luxuries :  yet  I  must  not  forget 
Sleep,  quiet  with  his  poppy  coronet : 
For  what  there  may  be  worthy  in  these 

rhymes 
I  partly  owe    to    him :    and    thus,    the 

chimes  350 

Of  friendly  voices  had  just  given  place 
To  as  sweet  a  silence,  when  I  'gan  retrace 
The  pleasant  day,  upon  a  couch  at  ease. 
It  was  a  poet's  house  who  keeps  the  keys 
Of  pleasure's  temple.     Round  about  were 

hung 
The  glorious  features  of  the  bards  who 

sung 
Ib  other  ages  —  cold  and  sacred  busts 
Smiled  at  each  other.    Happy  he  who  trusts 
To  clear  Faturity  his  darling  fame  I 
Then  there  were  fauns  and  satyrs  taking 

aim  360 

At  swelling  apples  with  a  frisky  leap 
And  reaching  fingers,  'mid  a  luscious  heap 


Of  vine  leaves.    Then  there  rose  to  view  a 

fane 
Of  liny  marble,  and  thereto  a  train 
Of    nymphs  approaching  fairly  o'er  the 

sward : 
One,  loveliest,  holding    her    white    hand 

toward 
The  dazzling  sunrise  :  two  sisters  sweet 
Bending  their  graceful  figures  till  they  meet 
Over  the  trippings  of  a  little  child  : 
And  some  are  hearing,  eagerly,  the  wild  370 
Thrilling  liquidity  of  dewy  piping. 
See,  in  another  picture,  nymphs  are  wiping 
Cherishingly  Diana's  timorous  limbs  ;  — 
A  fold  of  lawny  mantle  dabbling  swims 
At  the  bath's  edge,  and  keeps  a  gentle^ 

motion 
With  the  subsiding  crystal :  as  when  ocean 
Heaves  calmly  its  broad  swelling  smooth- 

iness  o'er 
Its  rocky  marge,  and  balances  once  more 
The  patient  weeds ;  that  now  unshent  by 

foam 
Feel  all  about  their  undulating  home.     380 

Sappho's  meek  head  was  there  half  smiling 

down 
At  nothing ;  just  as  though  the  earnest 

frown 
Of  over-thinking  had  that  moment  gone 
From  off  her  brow,  and  left  her  all  alone. 

Great  Alfred's  too,  with  anxious,  pitying 

eyes. 
As  if  he  always  listened  to  the  sighs 
Of  the  goaded  world ;  and  Kosciusko's, 

worn 
By  horrid  suffrance — mightily  forlorn. 

Petrarch,  outstepping  from  the  shady 

green, 
Starts  at  the  sight  of    Laura;    nor  can 

wean  390 

His  eyes  from  her  sweet  face.    Most  happy 

they  I 
For  over  them  was  seen  a  free  display 
Of  outspread  wings,  and  from  between  them 

shone 


24 


EARLY   POEMS 


The  face  of  Poesy  :  from  off  her  throne 
She  overlook'd  things  that  I  scarce  could 

tell. 
The  very  sense  of  where  I  was  might  well 
Keep  Sleep  aloof :  but  more  than  that  there 

came 
Thought  after  thought  to  nourish  up  the 

flame 
Within  my  breast ;  so  that  the   morning 

light 

Surprised    me    even    from    a    sleepless 
night ;  400 

And  up  I  rose  refreshed,  and  glad,  and  gay, 
Resolving  to  begin  that  very  day 
These  lines  ;  and  howsoever  they  be  done, 
1  leave  them  as  a  father  does  his  son. 


EPISTLE   TO   MY   BROTHER 
GEORGE 

Written  according  to  George  Keats  at  Mar- 
•gate^  August,  1816,  and  included  in  the  1817 
volume. 

Full  many  a  dreary  hour  have  I  past, 
My  brain  bewilder'd,  and  my  mind  o'ercast 
With    heaviness;    in    seasons  when    I've 

thought 
No  spherey  strains  by  me  could  e'er  be 

caught 
From  the  blue  dome,  though  I  to  dimness 

gaze 
On  the  far  depth  where  sheeted  lightning 

plays; 
Or,  on  the  wavy  grass  outstretch'd  supinely, 
Pry  'mong  the  stars,  to  strive  to  think  di- 
vinely: 
That  I  should  never  hear  Apollo's  song. 
Though  feathery  clouds  were  floating  all 
along  10 

The  purple  west,  and,  two  bright  streaks 

between, 
The  golden  lyre  itself  were  dimly  seen: 
That  the  still  murmur  of  the  honey  bee 
Would  never  teach  a  rural  song  to  me: 
That  the  bright  glance  from  beauty's  eye- 
lids slanting 
Would  never  make  a  lay  of  mine  enchanting. 


Or  warm  my  breast  with  ardour  to  unfold 
Some  tale  of  love  and  arms  in  time  of  old. 

But  there  are  times,  when  those  that  low 

the  bay, 
Fly  from  all  sorrowing  far,  far  away;       » 
A  sudden  glow  comes  on  them,  nougiit 

they  see 
In  water,  earth,  or  air,  but  poesy. 
It  has  been  said,  dear  George,  and  true  I 

hold  it, 
(For  knightly  Spenser  to  Libertas  told  it,) 
That  when  a  Poet  is  in  such  a  trance, 
In  air  he  sees  white  coursers  paw  and 

prance. 
Bestridden  of  gay  knights,  in  gay  appaxe!. 
Who  at  each  other  tilt  in  playful  quarrel; 
And  what  we,  ignorantly,  sheet-lightnuig 

call. 
Is  the  swift  opening  of  their  wide  portal,  )• 
When  the  bright  warder  blows  his  trompei 

clear, 
Whose  tones  reach  nought  on  earth  bvl 

Poet's  ear. 
When  these  enchanted  portals  open  wide, 
And  through  the  light  the  horsemen  swifify 

glide, 
The  Poet's  eye  can  reach  those  golden  haO^. 
And  view  the  glory  of  their  festivals: 
Their  ladies  fair,  that  in  the  distance 
Fit  for  the  silv'ring  of  a  seraph's  dream; 
Their  rich  brimm'd  goblets,  that  u 

run 
Like  the  bright  spots  that  move  about 

Sim; 
And,  when  upheld,  the  wine  from 

bright  jar 
Pours  with  the  lustre  of  a  falling  star. 
Yet  further  off  are  dimly  seen  their 
Of  which  no  mortal  eye  can  reach  the  flov^ 

ers; 
And  'tis  right  just,  for  well  Apollo  know»- 
'T  would  make  the  Poet  quarrel  with  tii^ 

rose. 
All  that 's  reveal'd  from  that  far  seat  ov 

blisses, 
Is,  the  clear  fountains'  interchanging 
As  gracefully  descending,  light  and  thin, 


EPISTLE  TO   MY   BROTHER  GEORGE 


2S 


1 


like  ulver  streaks  across  a  dolphin's  fin,  50 
When  he  apswimmeth  from  the  coral  caves, 
And  sports  with  half  his  tail  ahove  the 
waves. 

These  wonders  strange  he  sees,  and  many 

more. 
Whose  head  is  pregnant  with  poetic  lore. 
Should  he  upon  an  evening  ramble  fare 
With  forehead  to  the  soothing  breezes  bare. 
Would  he  naught  see  but  the  dark,  silent 

blue. 
With  all  its  diamonds  trembling  through 

and  through  ? 
Or  the  coy  moon,  when  in  the  waviness    59 
Of  whitest  clouds  she  does  her  beauty  dress, 
And  staidly  paces  higher  up,  and  higher, 
like  a  sweet  nan  in  holiday  attire  ? 
Ah,  yes !  much  more  would  start  into  his 

sight  — 
The  levelries,  and  mysteries  of  night: 
And  should  I  ever  see  them,  I  will  tell  you 
Soeh  tales  as  needs  must  with  amazement 

spell  you. 

These  are  the  living  pleasures  of  the 

bard: 
But  richer  far  posterity's  award. 
What  does  he  murmur  with  his  latest  breath. 
While  his  proud  eye  looks  through  the  film 

of  death  ?  70 

'What  though  I  leave  this  dull  and  earthly 

mould, 
Tet  shall  my  spirit  lofty  converse  hold 
^th  after  times.  —  The  patriot  shall  feel 
My  stern  alarum,  and  unsheath  his  steel; 
Or  in  the  senate  thunder  out  my  numbers. 
To  startle  princes  from  their  easy  slumbers, 
"nie  sage  will  mingle  with  each  moral  theme 
My  happy  thoughts   sententious;  he  will 

teem 
With  lofty  periods  when  my  verses  fire 

him. 
And  then  1 11  stoop  from  heaven  to  inspire 

him.  80 

Uys  have  I  left  of  such  a  dear  delight 
Ihat  maids  will  sing  them  on  their  bridal 

night. 


Gay  villagers,  upon  a  mom  of  May, 
When  they  have  tired  their  gentle  limbs 

with  play, 
And  form'd  a  snowy  circle  on  the  g^rass. 
And  plac'd  in  midst  of  all  that  lovely  lass 
Who  chosen  is  their  queen,  —  with  her  fine 

head 
Crowned  with  flowers  purple,  white,  and  , 

red: 
For  there  the  lily,  and  the  musk-rose,  sigh- 
ing, 89 
Are  emblems  true  of  hapless  lovers  dying: 
Between  her  breasts,  that  never  yet  felt 

trouble, 
A  bunch  of  violets  full  blown,  and  double, 
Serenely  sleep:  —  she  from  a  casket  takes 
A  little  book,  —  and  then  a  joy  awakes 
About  each  youthful  heart,  —  with  stifled 

cries. 
And  rubbing  of  white  hands,  and  sparkling 

eyes: , 
For  she  's  to  read  a  tale  of  hopes  and  fears; 
One  that  I  foster'd  in  my  youthful  years: 
The  pearls,  that  on  each  glist'ning  circlet 

sleep. 
Gush  ever  and  anon  with  silent  creep,      100 
Lured  by  the  innocent  dimples.     To  sweet 

rest 
Shall  the  dear  babe,  upon  its   mother's 

breast. 
Be  luU'd  with  songs  of  mine.     Fair  world, 

adieu ! 
Thy  dales  and  hills  are  fading  from  my 

view: 
Swiftly    I    mount,    upon    wide-spreading 

pinions. 
Far  from  the   narrow  bounds  of  thy  do- 
minions. 
Full  joy  I  feel,  while  thus  I  cleave  the  air. 
That  my  soft  verse  will  charm  thy  daugh- 
ters fair. 
And  warm  thy  sons  I '     Ah,  my  dear  friend 
and  brother,  109 

Could  I,  at  once,  my  mad  ambition  smother. 
For  tasting  joys  like  these,  sure  I  should  be 
Happier,  and  dearer  to  society. 
At  times,  't  is  true,  I  've  felt  relief  from 
pain 


26 


EARLY  POEMS 


When  some    bright  thought  has    darted 

through  my  brain: 
Through  all  that  day  I  Ve  felt  a  greater 

pleasure 
Than  if  I  'd  brought  to  light  a  hidden  trea- 
sure. 
As  to  my  sonnets,  though  none  else  should 

heed  them, 
I  feel  delighted,  still,  that  you  should  read 

them. 
Of  late,  too,  I  have  had  much  calm  enjoy- 
ment, 
Stretch'd  on  the  grass  at  my  best  loVd  em- 
ployment I20 
Of  scribbling  lines  for  you.    These  things 

I  thought 
While,  in  my  face,  the  freshest  breeze  I 

caught. 
E'en  now  I  'm  pilloVd  on  a  bed  of  flowers 
That  crowns  a  lofty  cliff,  which  proudly 

towers 
Above  the  ocean  waves.    The  stalks  and 

blades 
Chequer  my  tablet  with  their  quivering 

shades. 
On  one  side  is  a  field  of  drooping  oats. 
Through  which  the    poppies   show  their 

scarlet  coats;  128 

So  pert  and  useless,  that  they  bring  to  mind 
The  scarlet  coats  that  pester  human-kind. 
And  on  the  other  side,  outspread,  is  seen 
Ocean's  blue  mantle,  streak'd  with  purple, 

and  g^en; 
Now  't  is  I  see  a  canvass'd  ship,  and  now 
Mark  the  bright  silver  curling  round  her 

prow. 
I  see  the  lark  down-dropping  to  his  nest, 
And  the  broad- winged  sea-g^ull  never  at  rest; 
For  when  no  more  he  spreads  his  feathers 

free, 
His  breast  is  dancing  on  the  restless  sea. 
Now  I  direct  my  eyes  into  the  west. 
Which  at  this  moment  is    in    sunbeams 

drest:  140 

Why  westward  turn  ?    T  was  but  to  say 

adieu  I 
T  was  but  to  kiss  my  hand,  dear  George, 

to  you  I 


TO   MY  BROTHER  GEORGE 

The  first  in  the  gropp  of  sonnetB  in  the  1817 
volume.  A  tnuisoript  by  Geoige  Keats  bean 
the  date  *'  Margate,  August,  1816.' 

Many  the  wonders  I  this  day  have  seen: 
The  sun,  when  first  he  kist  away  the  tears 
That  fill'd  the  eyes  of  mom;  —  the  lau- 
rell'd  peers 
Who  from  the  feathery  gold  of  evening 

lean;  — 
The  ocean  with  its  vastness,  its  blue  g^reen, 
Its  ships,  its  rocks,  its  caves,  its  hopes, 

its  fears, — 
Its  voice  mysterious,  which  whoso  hears 
Must  think  on  what  will  be,  and  what  has 

been. 
E'en  now,  dear  George,  while  this  for  yon  I 
write, 
Cynthia  is  from  her  silken  curtains  peep* 
ing 
So  scantly,  that  it  seems  her  bridal  night. 
And  she  her  half-discover'd  revels  keep- 
ing. 
But  what,  without  the  social  thought  of 

thee. 
Would  be  the  wonders  of  the  sky  and  sea? 

TO 

There  u  no  due  to  the  identity  of  the  per* 
son  addressed,  and  no  date  is  affixed.  It  was 
published  in  the  1817  volame,  and  there  follows 
the  one  addressed  to  his  brother  Gteorge. 

Had  I  a  man's  fair  form,  then  might  my 
sighs 
Be  echoed  swiftly  through  that  ivoiy 

shell 
Thine  ear,  and  find  thy  gentle  heart;  so 
well 
Would  passion  arm  me  for  the  enterprise: 
But  ah  !  I  am  no  knight  whose  f  oeman  dies; 
No  cuirass  glistens  on  my  bosom's  swell; 
I  am  no  happy  shepherd  of  the  dell 
Whose  lips  have  trembled  with  a  maiden's 
eyes. 


SPECIMEN   OF  AN   INDUCTION  TO   A  POEM 


27 


Yet  most  I  dote  upon  thee,  —  call  thee 
sweety 
Sweeter  by  far  than  Hybla's  honied  roses 
When  steep'd  in  dew  rich  to  intoxica- 
tion. 
Ah !  I  will  taste  that  dew,  for  me 't  is  meet, 
And  when  the  moon  her  pallid  face  dis- 
closes, 
1 11  gather  some  by  spells,  and  incan- 
tation. 


SPECIMEN    OF   AN    INDUCTION 
TO  A   POEM 

This  poem  was  published  in  the  1817  volume 
where  it  immediately  precedes  CcUidore,  Leigh 
Hunt,  when  reviewing  the  volmue  on  its  ap- 
peamiee,  speaks  of  the  two  poems  as  conneoted, 
and  in  Tom  Keats's  copybook  they  are  written 
eootinuonsly.  The  same  copy  contains  a  memo- 
nadnm  'marked  by  Leigh  Hnnt  — 1816.' 

I/>l  I  mnst  tell  a  tale  of  chivalry; 

For  hurge  white  plnmes  are  dancing  in  mine 

eye. 
Not  like  the  formal  crest  of  latter  days: 
But  bending  in  a  thousand  graceful  ways; 
Y    So  pacefnl,  that  it  seems  no  mortal  hand. 

Or  e'en  the  tonch  of  Archimago's  wand, 
I     Coold  charm  them  into  snch  an  attitude. 
We  most  think  rather,  that  in  playful  mood. 
Some  mountain  breeze  had  turned  its  chief 

delight, 
To  show  this  wonder  of  its  gentle  might.    10 
Lo 1 1  mnst  tell  a  tale  of  chivalry; 
I     For  while  I  muse,  the  lance  points  slant- 
ingly 
!     Athwart  the  morning  air;  some  lady  sweet, 
Who  cannot  feel  for  cold  her  tender  feet, 
From  the  worn  top  of  some  old  battlement 
Hails  it  with  tears,*her  stout  defender  sent: 
And  from  her  own  pure  self  no  joy  dissem- 
bling, 
^     Wnps  nmnd  her  ample  robe  with  happy 
trembling, 
^^ifitimftfi,  when  the  good  Knight  his  rest 

would 'take. 
It  is  reflected,  clearly,  in  a  lake,  30 


With    the  young    ashen    boughs,   'gainst 

which  it  rests, 
And  th'  half -seen  mossiness  of  linnets* 

nests. 
Ah  !  shall  I  ever  tell  its  cruelty. 
When  the  fire  flashes  from  a  warrior's  eye. 
And  his  tremendous  hand  is  grasping  it. 
And  his  dark  brow  for  very  wrath  is  knit  ? 
Or  when  his  spirit,  with  more  calm  intent. 
Leaps  to  the  honours  of  a  tournament. 
And  makes  the  gazers  round  about  the 

ring 
Stare  at  the  grandeur  of  the  balancing  ?  30 
No,  no  I  this  is  far  off:  —  then  how  shall  I 
Revive  the  dying  tones  of  minstrelsy, 
Which  linger  yet  about  long  gothic  arches. 
In  dark  green  ivy,  and  among  wild  larches? 
How  sing  the  splendour  of  the  revelries. 
When  butts  of  wine  are  drunk  off  to  the 

lees? 
And  that  bright  lance,  against  the  fretted 

wall. 
Beneath  the  shade  of  stately  banneral. 
Is  slung  with  shining  cuirass,  sword,  and 

shield  ? 
Where  ye  may  see  a  spur  in  bloody  field.   40 
Light-footed    damsels    move  with   gentle 

paces 
Round  the  wide  hall,  and  show  their  happy 

faces; 
Or  stand  in  courtly  talk  by  fives  and  sevens: 
Like  those  fair  stars  that  twinkle  in  the 

heavens. 
Yet  must  I  tell  a  tale  of  chivalry: 
Or  wherefore  comes  that  knight  so  proudly 

by? 
Wherefore  more  proudly  does  the  gentle 

knight. 
Rein  in  the  swelling  of  hb  ample  might  ? 

Spenser !  thy  brows  are  arched,  open,  kind. 
And  come   like  a  clear    sunrise    to    my 

mind;  50 

And  always  does  my  heart  with  pleasure 

dance, 
When  I  think  on  thy  noble  countenance: 
Where  never  yet  was  ought  more  earthly 

seen 


28 


EARLY   POEMS 


Than  the  pur»  freshness  of  thy  laurels 

g^en. 
Therefore,  g^reat  bard,  I  not  so  fearfully 
Call  on  thy  gentle  spirit  to  hover  nigh 
My  daring  steps  :  or  if  thy  tender  care, 
Thus  startled  unaware, 
Be  jealous  that  the  foot  of  other  wight 
Should  madly  follow  that  bright  path  of 

light  60 

Trac'd    by  thy  lov'd   Libertas;    he  will 

speak. 
And  tell  thee  that  my  prayer  is  very  meek; 
That  I  will  follow  with  due  reverence. 
And  start  with  awe  at  mine  own  strange 

pretence. 
Him  thou  wilt  hear;  so  I  will  rest  in  hope 
To  see  wide  plains,  fair  trees,  and  lawny 

slope: 
The  mom,  the  eve,  the  light,  the  shade,  the 

flowers; 
Clear  streams,  smooth  lakes,  and  overlook- 
ing towers. 

CALIDORE 

A  FRAGMENT 

TouNO  Calidore  is  paddling  o'er  the  lake  ; 
His  healthful  spirit  eager  and  awake 
To  feel  the  beauty  of  a  silent  eve. 
Which  seem'd  full  loth  thb  happy  world  to 

leave; 
The  light  dwelt  o'er  the  scene  so  linger- 

ingly. 
He  bares  his  forehead  to  the  cool  blue  sky, 
And  smiles  at  the  far  clearness  all  around. 
Until  his  heart  is  well  nigh  over  wound. 
And  turns  for  calmness  to  the  pleasant 

green 
Of  easy  slopes,  and   shadowy  trees  that 

lean  zo 

So  elegantly  o'er  the  waters'  brim 
And  show  their  blossoms  trim. 
Scarce  can  his  clear  and  nimble  eyesight 

follow 
The  freaks  and  dartings  of  the  black-wing'd 

swallow, 
Delighting  much,  to  see  it  half  at  rest, 


Dip  so  refreshingly  its  wings,  and  breast 
'Gainst  the  smooth  surface,  and  to  mark 

anon. 
The  widening  circles  into  nothing  gone. 

And  now  the  sharp  keel  of  his  little  boat 
Comes    up   with    ripple,  and    with    easy 
float,  20 

And  glides  into  a  bed  of  water-lilies: 
Broad-leav'd  are  they,  and  their  white  can- 
opies 
Are  upward  tum'd  to  catch  the  heavens' 

dew. 
Near  to  a  little  island's  point  they  grew; 
Whence  Calidore  might  have  the  goodliest 

view 
Of  this  sweet  spot  of  earth.    The  bowery 

shore 
Went  off  in  gentle  windings  to  the  hoar 
And  light  blue  mountains  :  but  no  breath- 
ing man 
With  a  warm  heart,  and  eye  prepared  to  scan 
Nature's  clear  beauty,  could  pass  lightly 

by  30 

Objects  that  look'd  out  so  invitingly 
On  either  side.    These,  gentle  Calidore 
Greeted,  as  he  had  known  them  long  before. 

The  sidelong  view  of  awelling  leafiness. 
Which  the  glad  setting  sun  in  gold  doth 

dress; 
Whence,  ever  and  anon,  the  jay  outsprings, 
And  scales  upon  the  beauty  of  its  wings. 

The  lonely  turret,  shatter'd,  and  outworn. 

Stands  venerably  proud;  too    proud    to 

mourn 

Its    long    lost    grandeur :  fir-trees   grow 

around,  40 

Aye  dropping  their  hard  fruit  upon  the 

g^und. 

The  little  chapel,  with  the  cross  above. 
Upholding  wreaths  of  ivy;  the  white  dove, 
That  on  the  windows  spreads  his  feathers 

light, 
And  seems  from  purple  clouds  to  wing  its 

flight. 


CALIDORE 


29 


Green  tufted  iBlands  casting  their  soft 

shades 
Across  the  lake;  seqnester'd  leafy  glades, 
That  through  the  dimness  of  their  twilight 

show 
Large  dock-leaves,  spiral  foxgloves,  or  the 

glow 
Of  the  wild  cat's-eyes,  or  the  silvery  stems 
Of  delicate  birch-trees,  or  long  grass  which 

hems  5 1 

A  little  brook.    The  youth  had  long  been 

viewing 
These    pleasant   things,  and    heaven   was 

bedewing 
The  mountain  flowers,  when  his  glad  senses 

caught 
A    trumpet's    silver    voice.     Ah !   it  was 

fraught 
With  many  joys  for  him  :  the  warder's  ken 
Had  found  white  coursers  prancing  in  the 

glen: 
Friends  very  dear  to  him  he  soon  will  see; 
So  poshes  off  his  boat  most  eagerly, 
And  soon  upon  the  lake  he  skims  along,   60 
Deaf  to  the  nightingale's  first  under-song; 
Nor  minds  he  the  white  swans  that  dream 

so  sweetly: 
His  spirit  flies  before  him  so  completely. 

And  now  he  turns  a  jutting  point  of  land, 
Whence  may  be  seen  the  castle  gloomy,  and 

grand: 
Nor  will  a  bee  buzz  round  two  swelling 

peaches, 
Before  the  point  of  his  light  shallop  reaches 
Those  marble  steps  that  through  the  water 

dip: 
Now  over  them  he  goes  with  hasty  trip. 
And    scarcely    stays    to   ope   the   folding 

doors:  70 

Anon  he  leaps  along  the  oaken  floors 
Of  halls  and  corridors. 

Delicious  sounds !  those  little  bright-eyed 

things 
That  float  about  the  air  on  azure  wings. 
Had  been  less  heartfelt  by  him  than  the 

elang 


Of    clattering   hoofs;    into  the  court  he 

sprang, 
Just  as  two  noble  steeds,  and  palfreys  twain. 
Were  slanting  out  their  necks  with  loosen'd 

rein; 
While  from  beneath  the  threat'ning  port- 
cullis 
They  brought  their  happy  burthens.    What 

a  kiss,  80 

What  gentle  squeeze  he  gave  each  lady's 

hand  I 
How    tremblingly    their    delicate    ankles 

spann'd ! 
Into  how  sweet  a  trance  his  soul  was  gone, 
While  whisperings  of  affection 
Made  him  delay  to  let  their  tender  feet 
Come  to  the  earth;  with  an  incline  so  sweet 
From  their  low  palfreys  o'er  his  neck  they 

bent: 
And  whether  there  were  tears  of  languish- 

ment. 
Or  that  the  evening  dew  had  pearl'd  their 

tresses, 
He  feels  a  moisture  on  his  cheek,  and 

blesses  90 

With  lips  that  tremble,  and  with  glistening 

eye, 
All  the  soft  luxury 

That  nestled  in  his  arms.     A  dimpled  hand, 
Fair  as  some  wonder  out  of  fairy  land, 
Hung  from  his  shoulder  like  the  drooping 

flowers 
Of  whitest   Cassia,    fresh    from    summer 

showers : 
And  this  he  fondled  with  his  happy  cheek, 
As  if  for  joy  he  would  no  further  seek; 
When  the  kind  voice  of  good  Sir  Clerimond 
Came  to  his  ear,  ^e  something  from  be- 
yond 100 
His  present  being:  so  he  gently  drew 
His  warm  arms,  thrilling  now  with  pulses 

new. 
From  their  sweet  thrall,  and  forward  gently 

bending, 
Thank'd  Heaven  that  his  joy  was  never 

ending; 
While    'gainst  his  forehead  he  devoutly 

press'd 


so 


EARLY  POEMS 


A  hand  Heaven  made  to  succoar  the  dis- 
tress'd; 

A  hand  that  from  the  world's  bleak  promon- 
tory 

Had  lifted  Calidore  for  deeds  of  glory. 

Amid  the  pages,  and  the  torches'  glare. 
There  stood  a  knight,  patting  the  flowing 

hair  no 

Of  his  proad  horse's  mane:  he  was  withal 
A  man  of  elegance,  and  stature  tall: 
So  that  the  waving  of  his  plumes  would  be 
High  as  the  berries  of  a  wild  ash-tree, 
Or  as  the  wing^  cap  of  Mercury. 
His  armour  was  so  dexterously  wrought 
In  shape,  that  sure  no  living  man  had 

thought 
It  hard,  and  heavy  steel:  but  that  indeed 
It  was  some  glorious  form,  some  splendid 

weed. 
In  which  a  spirit  new  come    from    the 

skies  I20 

Might  live,  and  show  itself  to  human  eyes. 
'Tis  the  far-fam'd,  the  brave  Sir  Grondi- 

bert, 
Said  the  good  man  to  Calidore  alert; 
While  the  young  warrior  with  a  step  of 

g^race 
Came  up,  —  a  courtly  smile  upon  his  face. 
And  mailM  hand  held  out,  ready  to  greet 
The  large-eyed  wonder,  and  ambitious  heat 
Of  the  aspiring  boy;  who  as  he  led 
Those  smiling  ladies,  often  turned  his  head 
To  admire  the  visor  arched  so  grracefuUy  130 
Over  a  knightly  brow;  while  they  went  by 
The  lamps  that  from  the  high-roof'd  hall 

were  pendent. 
And  gave  the  steel  a  shining  quite  tran- 
scendent. 

Soon  in  a  pleasant  chamber  they  are 

seated ; 
The     sweet-lipp'd    ladies    have    already 

greeted 
All  the  green  leaves  that  round  the  window 

clamber. 
To  show  their  purple  stars,  and  bells  of 

amber. 


Sir  Grondibert  has  doff'd  his  shining  steel. 
Gladdening  in  the  free,  and  aiiy  feel 
Of  a  light  mantle ;  and  while  Clerimond    141 
Is  looking  round  about  him  with  a  fond 
And  placid  eye,  young  Calidore  is  boming 
To  hear  of  knightly  deeds,  and  gaUanl 

spurning 
Of  all  unworthiness;  and  how  the  strong  oi 

arm 
Kept  off  dismay,  and  terror,  and  alarm 
From  lovely  woman:  while  brimful  of  thii) 
He  gave  each  damsel's  hand  so  warm  a  kiaa^ 
And  had  such  manly  ardour  in  his  eye, 
That  each  at  other  look'd  half-staringly; 
And    then    their    features    started    inta 

smiles,  15c 

Sweet  as  blue  heavens  o'er  enchanted  ialef. 

Softly  the  breezes  from  the  forest  oame. 

Softly  they  blew  aside  the  taper's  flame; 

Clear  was  the  song  from  Philomel's  £u 
bower; 

Grateful  the  incense  from  the  lime-tree 
flower; 

Mysterious,  wild,  the  far  heard  trumpefi 
tone; 

Lovely  the  moon  in  ether,  all  alone: 

Sweet  too  the  converse  of  these  happy  mop- 
tals. 

As  that  of  busy  spirits  when  the  portals 

Are  closing  in  the  west;  or  that  soft  hum- 
ming rfc 

We  hear  around  when  Hesperus  is  oomii^ 

Sweet  be  their  sleep.  .  .  . 


EPISTLE    TO    CHARLES 
COWDEN   CLARKE 

This  epistle  printed  in  the  1817  volume  & 
there  dated  September,  1816,  when  Clarke  ynm 
in  his  twenty-ninth  year.  He  was  by  rngb 
years  Keats^s  senior,  uid  he  lived  till  his  ninetf 
eth  year. 

Oft  have  you  seen  a  swan  superbly  frowv 

ing, 
And    with    proud    breast  his  own  wbiti< 
shadow  crowning; 


EPISTLE  TO   CHARLES   COWDEN   CLARKE 


31 


He  ilmntft  hia  neck   beneath  the  waters 

bright 
So  alentlj,  it  seems  a  beam  of  light 
Cooie  from  the  galaxy:  anon  he  sports,  — 
With  ootspiead  wings  the  Naiad  Zephyr 

eoorts. 
Or  mffles  all  the  surface  of  the  lake 
In  striTing  from  its  crystal  face  to  take 
Some  diamond  water-drops,  and  them  to 

treasure 
!■  milky  nest,  and  sip  them  off  at  lei- 


10 


Bat  not  a  moment  can  he  there  insure  them, 
Nor  to  such  downy  rest  can  he  allure  them ; 
For  down  they  rush  as  though  they  would 

be  free. 
And  ^top  like  hours  into  eternity. 
Jist  Uke  that  bird  am  I  in  loss  of  time, 
Whene'er  I  venture  on  the  stream  of  rhyme ; 
With  shattered  boat,  oar  snapt,  and  canvas 

rent, 
Idowly  sail,  scarce  knowing  my  intent; 
SliD  scooping  up  the  water  with  my  fingers, 
la  which    a    trembling    diamond    never 

lingers. 


20 


By  this,  friend  Charles,  you  may  full 
pUinly  see 
Wkj  I  have  never  penn'd  a  line  to  thee: 
Becuse  my  thoughts  were  never  free,  and 

clear, 
Aid  little  fit  to  please  a  classic  ear; 
Beetose  my  wine  was  of  too  poor  a  savour 
Fcr  one  whose  palate  gladdens  in  the  fla- 
vour 
^sparkling  Helicon: — small  good  it  were 
To  ttke  him  to  a  desert  rude,  and  bare, 
Who  had  on  Bais's  shore  reclin'd  at  ease, 
Wkile  Tasso's    page  was    floating    in   a 
biooxe  30 

Ait  gave   soft    music    from    Armida's 

bowerSy 
Xiigled  with  fragrance  from  her  rarest 

flowers: 
fadl  good  to  one  who  had  by  MuUa's 


Foodled  the  maidens  with  the  breasts  of 


Who  had  beheld  Belphoebe  in  a  brook. 
And  lovely  Una  in  a  leafy  nook. 
And  Archimago  leaning  o'er  his  book: 
Who  had  of  all  that's  sweet  tasted,  and 

seen, 
From  silVry  ripple,  up  to  beauty's  queen; 
From  the  sequester'd  haunts  of  gay  Tita- 

nia,  40 

To  the  blue  dwelling  of  divine  Urania: 
One,  who  of  late  had  ta'en  sweet  forest 

walks 
With  him  who  elegantly  chats  and  talks  — 
The  wrong'd  Libertas,  —  who  has  told  you 

stories 
Of  laurel  chaplets,  and  Apollo's  glories; 
Of  troops  chivalrous  prancing  through  a 

city, 
And  tearful  ladies  made  for  love,  and  pity: 
With  many  else  which  I  have  never  known. 
Thus  have  I  thought;  and  days  on  days 

have  flown 
Slowly,  or  rapidly  —  unwilling  still  50 

For  you  to  try  my  dull,  unlearned  quill. 
Nor  should  I  now,  but  that  I  've  known  you 

long; 
That  you  flrst  taught  me  all  the  sweets  of 

song: 
The  grand,  the  sweet,  the  terse,  the  free, 

the  flne: 
What  swell'd  with  pathos,  and  what  right 

divine: 
Spenserian  vowels  that  elope  with  ease. 
And  float  along  like   birds  o'er  summer 

seas: 
Miltonian  storms,  and  more,  Miltonian  ten- 
derness: 
Michael  in  arms,  and  more,  meek  Eve's  faif 

slendemess. 
Who    read    for    me  the  sonnet  swelling 

loudly  60 

Up  to  its  climax,  and  then  dying  proudly  ? 
Who  found  for  me  the  grandeur  of  the 

ode, 
Growing,  like  Atlas,  stronger  from  its  load  ? 
Who  let  me  taste  that  more  than  cordial 

dram. 
The  sharp,  the  rapier-pointed  epigram  ? 
Show'd  me  that  epic  was  of  all  the  king. 


33 


EARLY  POEMS 


Round,  yast,  and  spanning  all,  like  Saturn's 
ling? 

Yon  too  upheld  the  veil  from  Clio's  beauty, 

And  pointed  out  the  patriot's  stem  duty; 

The  might  of  Alfred,  and  the  shaft  of 
Tell;  70 

The  hand  of  Brutus,  that  so  grandly  fell 

Upon  a  tyrant's  head.  Ah  I  had  I  never 
seen, 

Or  known  your  kindness,  what  might  I 
have  been  ? 

What  my  enjoyments  in  my  youthful  years. 

Bereft  of  all  that  now  my  life  endears  ? 

And  can  I  e'er  these  benefits  forget  ? 

And  can  I  e'er  repay  the  friendly  debt  ? 

No,  doubly  no;  —  yet  should  these  rhym- 
ings  please, 

I  shall  roll  on  the  grass  with  twofold  ease; 

For  I  have  long  time  been  my  fancy  feed- 
ing 80 

With  hopes  that  you  would  one  day  think 
the  reading 

Of  my  rough  verses  not  an  hour  mbspent; 

Should  it  e'er  be  so,  what  a  rich  content ! 

Some  weeks  have  pass'd  since  last  I  saw 
the  spires 

In  lucent  Thames  reflected: — warm  de- 
sires 

To  see  the  sun  o'er-peep  the  eastern  dim- 
ness 

And  morning  shadows  streaking  into  slim- 
ness. 

Across  the  lawny  fields,  and  pebbly  water; 

To  mark  the  time  as  they  grow  broad,  and 
shorter; 

To  feel  the  air  that  plays  about  the  hills,  90 

And  sips  its  freshness  from  the  little  rills; 

To  see  high,  golden  com  wave  in  the  light 

When  Cynthia  smiles  upon  a  summer's 
night, 

And  peers  among  the  cloudlet's  jet  and 
white, 

As  though  she  were  reclining  in  a  bed 

Of  bean  blossoms,  in  heaven  freshly  shed. 

No  sooner  had  I  stepp'd  into  these  plea- 
sures, 

Than  I  began  to  think  of  rhymes  and  mea- 
sures; 


The  air  that  floated  by  me  seem'd  to  say 
*  Write  I  thou  wilt  never  have  a  better 

day.'  too 

And  so  I  did.     When  many  lines  I'd 

written. 
Though  with  their  grace  I  was  not  over- 
smitten. 
Yet,  as  my  hand  was  warm,  I  thought  I  'd 

better 
Trust  to  my  feelings,  and  write  you  a  letter. 
Such  an  attempt  required  an  inspiration 
Of  a  peculiar  sort,  —  a  consummation;  — 
Which,  had  I  felt,  these  scribblings  might 

have  been 
Verses  from  which  the  soul  would  neve? 

wean; 
But  many  days  have  past  since  last  my 

heart  109 

Was  warm'd  luxuriously  by  divine  Mozart; 
By  Arne  delighted,  or  by  Handel  nuMU 

den^d; 
Or  by  the  song  of  Erin  pierc'd  and  sad- 

den'd: 
What  time  you  were  before  the    mnsie 

sitting. 
And  the  rich  notes  to  each  sensation  fitting. 
Since  I  have  walk'd  with  you  through  shady 

lanes 
That  freshly  terminate  in  open  plains. 
And  revell'd  in  a  chat  that  ceasM  not 
When  at  night-fall  among  your  books  we 

got: 
No,  nor  when  supper  came,  nor  after  that,  — 
Nor  when  reluctantly  I  took  my  hat;       no 
No,  nor  till  cordially  you  shook  my  hand 
Mid-way  between  our  homes: — your  ae> 

cents  bland 
Still  sounded  in  my  ears,  when  I  no  more 
Could  hear  your  footsteps  touch  the  gravly 

floor. 
Sometimes  I  lost  them,  and  then  foond 

again; 
You  changed  the  foot-path  for  the  grassy 

plain. 
In  those  still  moments  I  have  wish'd  yon 

joys 
That  well  you  know  to  honour:  —  '  life's 

very  toys 


t 


ADDRESSED  TO   BENJAMIN   ROBERT   HAYDON 


33 


With  him/  said  I,  *  will  take  a  pleasant 

charm; 
It  camiot   be  that  ought  will  work   him 

harm.  130 

These  thoughts  now  come  o'er  me  with  all 

their  might:  — 
Again  I  shake  your  hand,  —  friend  Charles, 

good  night. 

TO   MY   BROTHERS 

Though  the  poem  is  thus  headed  in  the  1817 
Tolume,  where  it  is  dated  November  18,  1810, 
it  might  as  properly  have  the  heading  given  it 
in  Tom  Keats's  copybook :  *  Written  to  his 
Brother  Tom  on  his  Birthday,'  with  the  same 
date. 

Small,  busy  flames  play  through  the  fresh- 
laid  coals. 
And  their  faint  cracklings  o'er  our  si- 
lence creep 
Like  whispers  of  the  household  gods  that 
keep 
A  gentle  empire  o'er  fraternal  souls. 
And  while,  for  rhymes,  I  search  around  the 
poles. 
Your  eyes  are  fix'd,  as  in  poetic  sleep. 
Upon  the  lore  so  voluble  and  deep, 
That  aye  at  fall  of  night  our  care  condoles. 
This  is  your  birth-day,  Tom,  and  I  rejoice 

That  thus  it  passes  smoothly,  quietly: 
Many  such  eves  of  gently  whisp'ring  noise 

May  we  together  pass,  and  calmly  fry 
What  are  this  world's  true  joys,  —  ere  the 
g^reat  Voice, 
From  its  fair  face,  shall  bid  our  spirits  fly. 


ADDRESSED   TO   BENJAMIN 
ROBERT   HAYDON 

The  first  of  these  two  sonnets  was  sent  by 
Keats  with  this  brief  note:  'November  20, 
1816.  My  dear  Sir  —  Last  evening  wrought 
me  up,  and  I  cannot  forbear  sending  yon  the 
following.'  In  his  prompt  acknowledgment 
Haydon  suggested  the  omission  of  the  last  four 
words  in  the  penultimate  line,  and  proposed 
sending  the  sonnet  to  Wordsworth.    Keats  re- 


plied on  the  same  day  as  his  first  note  :  *'  Your 
letter  has  filled  me  with  a  proud  pleasure,  and 
shall  be  kept  by  me  as  a  stimulus  to  exertion  — 
I  beg^n  to  fix  my  eye  upon  one  horizon.  My 
feelings  entirely  fall  in  with  yours  in  regard  to 
the  Ellipsis,  and  I  glory  in  it.  The  Idea  of 
your  sending  it  to  Wordsworth  put  me  out  of 
breath.  You  know  with  what  Reverence  I 
would  send  my  Well-wishes  to  him.'  The  pre- 
sentation copy  of  the  1817  volume  bears  the 
inscription  *  To  W.  Wordsworth  with  the  Au- 
thor's sincere  Reverence.'  Both  sonnets  were 
printed,  but  in  the  reverse  order  in  the  1817 
volume,  and  the  ellipsis  was  preserved. 


Great  spirits  now  on  earth  are  sojourning; 
He  of  the  cloud,  the  cataract,  the  lake, 
Who  on  Helvellyn's  summit,  wide  awake, 
Catches  his  freshness    from    Archangel's 

wing: 
He  of  the  rose,  the  violet,  the  spring. 
The  social  smile,  the  chain  for  Freedom's 

sake: 
And  lo  !  —  whose    steadfastness    would 
never  take 
A  meaner  sound  than  Raphael's  whispering. 
And  other  spirits  there  are  standing  apart 
Upon  the  forehead  of  the  age  to  come; 
These,  these  will  give  the  world  another 
heart, 
And  other  pulses.     Hear  ye  not  the  hum 
Of  mighty  workings  in  the  human  mart  ? 
Listen  awhile  ye  nations,  and  be  dumb. 

II 

H1GHMINDEDNE88,  a  jealousy  for  good, 
A  loving-kindness  for  the  great  man's 

fame. 
Dwells  here  and  there  with  people  of  no 
name. 
In  noisome  alley,  and  in  pathless  wood: 
And  where  we  think  the  truth  least  under- 
stood. 
Oft  may  be  found  a  *  singleness  of  aim,' 
That  ought  to  frighten  into  hooded  shame  - 
A  money-mong'ring,  pitiable  brood. 
How  glorious  this  affection  for  the  cause 
Of  steadfast  genius,  toiling  gallantly  ! 


34 


EARLY  POEMS 


What  when  a  stout  unbending  champion 
awes 
Envy,  and  Malice  to  their  native  sty  ? 
Unnumber'd  souls  breathe  out  a  still  ap- 
plause, 
Proud  to  behold  him  in  his  country's  eye. 

TO   KOSCIUSKO 

First  published  in  The  Examiner^  where  it 
is  dated  *Dec.,  1816/  It  is  inclnded  in  the 
1817  Yolume. 

Good  Kosciusko,  thy  great  name  alone 
Is  a  full  harvest  whence  to  reap  high 

feeling; 

It  comes  npon  us  like  the  glorious  pealing 

Of  the  wide  spheres  —  an  everlasting  tone. 

And  now  it  tells  me,  that  in  worlds  unknown. 

The  names  of  heroes,  burst  from  clouds 

concealing, 
Are    changed    to   harmonies,  for    ever 
stealing 
Through  cloudless  blue,  and  round  each 

silver  throne. 
It  tells  me  too,  that  on  a  happy  day. 
When  some  good  spirit  walks  upon  the 
earth. 
Thy  name  with  Alfred's,  and  the  great 
of  yore, 
Gently  commingling,  gives  tremendous 
birth 
To  a  loud  hymn,  that  sounds  far,  far  away 
To  where  the  great  Grod  lives  for  ever- 
more. 


TO   G.   A.  W. 

Georgiana  Augnsta  Wylie,  who  afterward 
married  George  Keats.  For  other  veises  ad- 
dressed to  this  lady  see  pp.  11,  240,  243. 

This  sonnet  in  Tom  Keats^s  copybook  is 
dated  December,  1816;  it  was  published  in  the 
1817  volume. 

Nymph  of  the  downward  smile  and  side- 
long glance. 
In  what  diviner  moments  of  the  day 
Art  thou  most  lovely  ?    When  gone  far 

astray 


Into  the  labyrinths  of  sweet  utterance  ? 
Or  when  serenely  wand'ring  in  a  trance 
Of  sober  thought?     Or  when  starting 

away. 
With  careless  robe,  to  meet  the  morning 
»*ay,  \ 

Thou  spar'st  the  flowers  in  thy  mazy  dance  ? 
Haply  't  is  when  thy  ruby  lips  part  sweetly. 

And  so  remain,  because  Uiou  listenest: 
But  thou  to  please  wert  nurtured  so  com- 
pletely 
That  I  can  never  tell  what  mood  is  best. 
I  shall  as  soon  pronounce  which  Grace  more 
neatly 
Trips  it  before  Apollo  than  the  rest. 


STANZAS 

There  is  no  date  given  to  this  poem  by  Lord 
Houghton,  who  published  it  in  the  1848  edi- 
tion, and  no  reference  occurs  to  it  in  the  Letters, 
It  was  probably  an  early  careless  poem,  very 
likely  a  set  of  album  verses. 

In  a  drear-nighted  December, 

Too  happy,  happy  tree. 
Thy  branches  ne'er  remember 
Their  green  felicity: 
The  north  cannot  undo  them. 
With  a  sleety  whistle  through  them; 
Nor  frozen  thawings  glue  them 
From  budding  at  the  prime. 

In  a  drear-nighted  December, 
Too  happy,  happy  brook, 
Thy  bubblings  ne'er  remember 
Apollo's  summer  look; 
But  with  a  sweet  forgetting. 
They  stay  their  crystal  fretting, 
Never,  never  petting 

About  the  frozen  time. 

Ah  1  would  't  were  so  with  many 

A  gentle  girl  and  boy  ! 
But  were  there  ever  any 

Writh'd  not  at  pass^  joy  ? 
To  know  the  change  and  feel  it, 
When  there  is  none  to  heal  it, 


ON  THE  GRASSHOPPER  AND   CRICKET 


3S 


Nor  nambM  sense  to  steal  it. 
Was  nerer  said  in  rhyme. 


WRJTTEN    IN   DISGUST   OF 
VULGAR  SUPERSTITION 

Ib  Tom  Keftts's  eopybook  this  sonnet  is 
^ifeid  'SncUiy  eTening,  Deo.  24, 1816/  Lord 
Hoil^ton  gireB  it  in  the  Aldine  edition,  and 
keads  it '  Written  on  a  Snmmer  Evening.'  Poe- 
■klj  the  aoTenth  line  may  be  adduced  as  evi- 
ines  of  the  wintry  season. 

Tn  ehnrch  bells  toll  a  melanoholy  round, 
Calling  the  people  to  some  other  prayers, 
Some  other  gloominess,  more  dreadful 


More  hearkening  to  the  sermon's  horrid 

sound. 
Sardy  the  mind  of  man  is  closely  bound 
la  tome  black  speU;  seeing  that  each  one 

tears 
Hbnself  &om  fireside  joys,  and  Lydian 
airs, 
And  ooorerse  high  of  those  with  glory 

crown'd. 
Still,  still  they  toll,  and  I  should  feel  a 
damp, — 
A  chin  as  from  a  tomb,  did  I  not  know 
XW  they  are  dying  like  an  ontbumt  lamp; 
Tbit  'tis  their  sighing,  waiUng  ere  they 

t     ^ 

into  oblinon; — that  fresh  flowers  will 

grow, 

Aad  many  glories  of  immortal  stamp. 


SONNET 

PkUidied  in  the  1817  Tolnme,  but  there  is 
so  evideaee  aa  to  its  exact  date.  It  is  the 
latest  in  otder  of  the  sonnets,  inmiediately  pre- 
ecdiog  Sleqt  amd  Poetry, 

Happt  is  England!  I  could  be  content 
To  see  no  other  verdnre  than  its  own; 
To  feel  no  other  breexes  than  are  blown 

Diroagh  its  tall  woods  with  high  romances 
blent: 


Yet  do  I  sometimes  feel  a  languishment 
For  skies  Italian,  and  an  inward  groan 
To  sit  upon  an  Alp  as  on  a  throne, 
And  half  forget  what  world  or  worldling 

meant. 
Happy  is  England,  sweet  her  artless  daugh- 
ters; 
Enough  their  simple  loveliness  for  me, 
Enough  their  whitest  arms  in  silence 
clinging: 
Yet  do  I  often  warmly  bum  to  see 
Beauties  of  deeper  glance,  and  hear 
their  singing. 
And  float  with  them  about  the  summer 
waters. 


ON   THE   GRASSHOPPER  AND 
CRICKET 

Written  December  30,  1816,  on  a  challenge 
from  Leigh  Hunt,  who  printed  both  his  and 
Eeats's  sonnets  in  his  paper,  TTte  Examiner. 
Keats  included  the  sonnet  in  his  1817  Tolnme. 
Leigh  Hunt^s  sonnet  will  be  found  in  the 
Notes  akd  Illustkatioks. 

The  poetry  of  earth  is  never  dead: 

When  all  the  birds  are  faint  with  the 

hot  sun. 
And  hide  in  cooling  trees,  a  voice  will  run 
From  hedge  to  hedge  about  the  new-mown 

mead; 
That  is  the  Grasshopper's  —  he  takes  the 
lead 
In  summer  luxury,  —  he  has  never  done 
With  his  delights;  for  when  tired  out 
with  fun. 
He  rests  at  ease  beneath  some  pleasant 

weed. 
The  poetry  of  earth  is  ceasing  never: 
On  a  lone  winter  evening,  when  the  frost 
Has  wrought  a  silence,  from  the  stove 
there  shrills 
The  Cricket's  song,  in  warmth  increasing 
ever. 
And  seems  to  one,  in  drowsiness  half  lost, 
The  Grasshopper's  among  some  grassy 
hills. 


36 


EARLY   POEMS 


SONNET 

Printed  in  The  Examiner,  Febmary  23, 1817, 
and  dated  by  Lord  Houghton,  when  reprinting 
it,  *  January,  1817.' 

After  dark  vapours  have  oppress'd  oar 
plains  ^ 
For  a  long  dreary  season,  conies  a  day  4 
Bom  of  the  gentle  South,  and  clears 
away  ^ 
From  the  sick  heavens  all  unseemly  stains.^ 
The  anxious  month,  relieved  its  pains,  c 
Takes  as  a  long-lost  right  the  feel  of 

May;    U 
The  eyelids  with  the  passing  coolness 
play,  >i 
Like  rose  leaves  with  the  drip  of  summer 

rains.  K. 
And  calmest  thoughts  come  round  us;  as, 
of  leaves  c 
Budding,  —  fruit  ripening  in  stillness,  — 
Autumn  suns  dL 
Smiling  at  eve  upon  the  quiet  sheaves,  —  c 
Sweet  Sappho's  cheek,  —  a  sleeping  infant's 
breath,  —     ^ 
The  gradual  sand  that  through  an  hour- 
glass runs,  —  dL 
A  woodland  rivulet,  —  a  Poet's  death.  ^ 


WRITTEN  ON  THE  BLANK 
SPACE  AT  THE  END  OF 
CHAUCER'S  TALE  OF  *THE 
FLOURE  AND  THE  LEFE ' 

Written  in  February,  1817,  and  published  in 
The  Examiner,  March  16,  1817.  There  is  a 
pleasant  story  that  Charles  Cowden  Clarke  had 
fallen  asleep  over  the  book,  and  woke  to  find 
this  epilogue. 

This  pleasant  tale  is  like  a  little  copse: 
The  honied  lines  so  freshly  interlace. 
To  keep  the  reader  in  so  sweet  a  place, 

So  that  he  here  and  there    full-hearted 
stops; 

And  oftentimes  he  feels  the  dewy  drops 
Come  cool  and  suddenly  against  his  face, 


And,  by  the  wandering  melody,  may  trace 
Which  way  the  tender-legged  linnet  hops. 
Oh  I  what  a  power  has  white  simplidty  I 

What  mighty  power  has  this  gentle  story ! 

I,  that  do  ever  feel  athirst  for  glory. 
Could  at  this  moment  be  content  to  lie 

Meekly  upon  the  grass,  as  those  whose 
sobbings 

Were  heard  of  none  beside  the  mournful 
robins. 


ON   SEEING  THE  ELGIN 
MARBLES 

This  and  the  following  sonnet  were  printed 
in  The  Examiner,  March  9, 1817,  and  reprinted 
in  Life,  Letters  and  Literary  Remains. 

My  spirit  is  too  weak  —  mortality 

Weighs  heavily  on  me  like  unwilling 

sleep. 
And  each  imagin'd  pinnacle  and  steep 
Of  godlike  hardship  tells  me  I  must  die 
Like  a  sick  Eagle  looking  at  the  sky. 
Yet 't  is  a  gentle  luxury  to  weep 
That  I  have  not  the  cloudy  winds  to 
keep, 
Fresh  for  the  opening  of  the  morning's  eye. 
Such  dim-conceivM  glories  of  the  brain 
Bring  round  the  heart  an  indescribable 
feud; 
So  do  these  wonders  a  most  dizzy  pain. 
That  mingles  Grecian  grandenr  with  the 
rude 
Wasting  of  old  Time  —  with  a  billowy 
main  — 
A  sun  —  a  shadow  of  a  magnitude. 

TO   HAYDON 

(with  the  preceding  sonnet) 

Haydon  !  forgave  me  that  I  cannot  speak 
Definitively  of  these  mighty  things; 
Forgive  me,  that  I  have   not  Eagle's 
wings  — 
That  what  I  want  I  know  not  where  to 
seek: 


LINES 


37 


Aid  tliiiik  tiiftt  I  woold  not  be  over  meek, 
Ib  roQiBg  out  npfbUow'd  thnnderings, 
£vea  to  tbe  steep  of  Heliconian  springs, 

Wert  I  of  ample    strength   for  such  a 


too^  that  all  those  numbers  should 
be  thine; 
MThoie  else?    In  this  who  touch  thy 
Tcstore's  hem  ? 
For  when  men  star'd  at  what  was  most 
dirine 
With     browless      idiotism  —  o'erwise 
phlegm  — 
TVm  ladst  beheld  the  Hesperean  shine 
Of  their  star  in  the  East,  and  gone  to 
worship  them. 


TO  LEIGH   HUNT,  ESQ. 

TUiitood  as  dedication  to  the  1817  yolome, 
vU^  w»  pabliahed  in  the  month  of  March. 
CWrbi  Cowden  Clarke  makes  the  statement : 
*Ofttke  tfening  when  the  last  proof  sheet  was 
Woa|kt  from  the  printer,  it  was  accompanied 
by  the  iaf  ormation  that  if  a  '^  dedication  to  the 
Wik  was  tBtended,  it  most  be  sent  forthwith.*' 
^^Wrwpuu  he  withdrew  to  a  side  table,  and  in 
<W  boB  of  a  mixed  conversation  (for  there 
«we  mttal  friends  in  the  room)  he  composed 
^  hneffat  to  Charles  Oilier,  the  publisher, 
<Wdwticstion  sonnet  to  Leigh  Hunt.* 

GUNtT  sod  loTeliness  haye  pass'd  away; 
Fcr  if  we  wander  out  in  early  mom. 
No  wveathM  incense  do  we  see  upborne 
lito  the  easty  to  meet  the  smiling  day: 
Ko  crowd  of  nymphs  soft-voic'd  and  young, 
•wigay, 
Ii  woren  baskets  bringing  ears  of  com. 
Holes,  and  pinks,  and  violets,  to  adorn 
1W  shrine  of  Flora  in  her  early  May. 
B«t  there  are  left  delights  as  high  as  these. 

And  I  shall  ever  bless  my  destiny. 
Tint  in  a  time,  when  under  pleasant  trees 

FsB  is  DO  longer  sought,  I  feel  a  free, 
A  leafy  loznry,  seeing  I  could  please 
VTith  these  poor  offerings,  a  man  like 
thee. 


ON   THE   SEA 

Sent  in  a  letter  to  Reynolds,  dated  April  17, 
1817.  'From  want  of  regular  rest,'  Keats 
says,  *  I  hsTc  been  rather  nanms,  and  the  pas- 
sage in  Lear  —  **  Do  yon  not  hear  the  sea  ?  "  — 
has  haunted  me  intensely.'  He  then  copies  the 
sonnet,  which  was  published  in  Hie  Champum^ 
August  17  of  the  same  year.  The  letter  was 
written  from  Carisbrooke.  He  had  been  sent 
away  from  London  by  his  brothers  a  month 
before,  shortly  after  the  appearance  of  his  first 
Tolnme  of  Poems^  and  his  letters  show  the 
nenrons,  restless  condition  into  which  he  had 
been  driven  by  that  yenture. 

It  keeps  eternal  whisperings  around 
Desolate   shores,  and   with  its  mighty 

swell 
Gluts  twice  ten  thousand  caverns,  till  the 
spell 
Of  Hecate  leaves  them  their  old  shadowy 

sound. 
Often  't  is  in  such  gentle  temper  found, 
That  scarcely  will  the  very  smallest  shell 
Be  mov'd  for  days  from  where  it  some- 
time fell, 
When    last   the   winds    of   Heaven   were 

unbound. 
O  ye !  who  have  your  eyeballs  vex'd  and 
tir'd. 
Feast  them  upon  the  wideness  of  the  Sea; 
O  ye  !  whose  ears  are  dinn'd  with  up- 
roar rude. 
Or  fed  too  much  with  cloying  melody, — 
Sit  ye  near  some  old  cavern's  mouth, 
and  brood 
Until  ye  start,  as  if  the  sea-nymphs  quired  ! 


LINES 

first  published,  with  the  date  1817,  in  Life, 
Letters  and  Literary  Remains,  It  is  barely 
possible  that  this  is  the  *  song '  to  which  Keats 
refeis  in  a  letter  to  Benjamin  Bailey,  dated 
November  22,  1817,  when  he  says :  *  I  am  cer- 
tain of  nothing  but  the  holiness  of  the  Heart's 
affections,  and  the  truth  of  Imagination.  What 
the  Imagination  seizes  as  Beauty  must  be  truth 


38 


EARLY  POEMS 


—  whether  it  existed  before  or  not  —  for  I 
haye  the  same  idea  of  all  our  passions  as  of 
Lore :  they  are  all,  in  their  snblime,  creatiye 
of  essential  Beanty.  In  a  word,  yon  may  know 
my  faTOurite  speculation  by  my  first  Book,  and 
the  little  Song  I  sent  in  my  last,  which  u  a 
representation  from  the  fancy  of  the  probable 
mode  of  operating  in  these  matters.' 

Umfelt,  unheard,  unseen, 

I  've  left  my  little  queen, 
Her  languid  arms  in  silver  slumber  lying: 

Ah  I  through  their  nestling  touch, 

Who  —  who  could  tell  how  much 
There  le  for  madness — cruel,  or  comply- 
ing? 

Those  faery  lids  how  sleek  ! 

Those  lips  how  moist  I  —  they  speak, 
In  ripest  quiet,  shadows  of  sweet  sounds: 

Into  mj  fancy's  ear 

Melting  a  burden  dear, 
How  '  Love  doth  know  no  fulness,  and  no 
bounds.' 

True  I  —  tender  monitors  ! 

I  bend  unto  your  laws: 
Tbii  sweetest  day  for  dalliance  was  bom  ! 

80,  without  more  ado, 

I  '11  feel  my  heaven  anew, 
For  all  the  blushing  of  the  hasty  mom. 


ON 


l^ubllshed  with  the  date  1817  by  Lord 
iliiUghUm  in  Li/Bf  Letters  and  Literary  Re- 
muin»t  but  slightly  varied  in  form  when  re- 
fiHiiMtd  in  thtt  AliUne  edition. 

TuiNK  not  of  it,  sweet  one,  so;  — 

(iive  it  not  a  tear; 
High  thou  roayst,  and  bid  it  go 

Any  —  ftny  where. 

1 1(1  nut  l(N»k  fto  sod,  sweet  one,  — 

HimI  Hud  fadingly; 
H\m\  Miie  drop,  then  it  is  gone, 

(Ihl  'iwiuiborn  to  die  I 


Still  so  pale  ?  then  dearest  weep; 

Weep,  1 11  count  the  tears. 
For  each  will  I  invent  a  bliss 

For  thee  in  after  years. 

Brighter  has  it  left  thine  eyes 

Than  a  sunny  rill; 
And  thy  whispering  melodies 

Are  more  tender  still. 

Yet  —  as  all  things  mourn  awhile 

At  fleeting  blisses; 
E'en  let  us  too;  but  be  our  dirge 

A  dirge  of  kisses. 


ON  A  PICTURE   OF   LEANDER 

This  sonnet  was  printed  in  1829  in  The  GewL, 
a  Literary  Annual,  edited  by  Thomas  Hood. 
It  is  not  dated,  but  may  fldrly  be  assigned  to 
this  time. 

Come  hither,  all  sweet  maidens  soberly, 
Down-looking  aye,  and  with  a  chasten'd 

light 
Hid  in  the  fringes  of  your  eyelids  white^ 
And  meekly  let  your  fair  hands  joined  be, 
As  if  so  gentle  that  ye  could  not  see, 
Untouch'd,  a  victim  of  your  beauty  brig^t^ 
Sinking  away  to  his  young  spirit's  nighty 
Sinking  bewUder'd  'mid  the  dreary  sea: 
'T  is  young  Leander  toiling  to  his  death; 
Nigh  swooning,  he  doth  purse  his  weary 
lips 
For  Hero's  cheek,  and  smiles  against 
her  smile. 
O  horrid  dream  !  see  how  his  body  dips 
Dead-heavy ;  arms  and  shoulders  gleam 
awhile: 
He's  gone;  up  bubbles  all  his  amorous 
breath  I 

ON   LEIGH  HUNT'S  POEM,  *THE 
STORY   OF   RIMINI' 

Dated  1817  in  the  Life,  Letters  and  Literary 
Remains,  and  placed  next  after  the  preceding. 


ON   SEEING  A  LOCK  OF  MILTON'S   HAIR 


39 


Who  loTes  to  peer  ap  at  the  morning  sun, 
With    hmll-ehot  ejes  and    comfortable 

eheeky 
Let  him,  with  this  sweet  tale,  full  often 


For  meadows  where  the  little  rivers  run; 
Who  loves  to  linger  with  that  brightest  one 
Of  Heaven  —  Hesperos  —  let  him  lowly 

speak 
Thtm  numbers  to  the  night,  and  star- 
light meek. 
Or  moon,  if  that  her  hnnting  be  begun. 
He  who  knows  these  delights,  and  too  is 
prone 
To  moralize  upon  a  smile  or  tear, 
Win  find  at  once  a  region  of  his  own, 

A  bower  for  his  spirit,  and  will  steer 
To  tllejt,  where  the  fir-tree  drops  its  cone, 
Whoe  robins  hop,  and  fallen  leaves  are 


SONNET 

Tmi  pohHshed  in  Life,  Letters  and  Literary 
Bimiuj  but  dated  1817  in  a  maniucript  copy 
«*Bed  by  Sir  Charles  Dilke.  Keats  sends  it 
•i  \m  *lait  sonnet'  in  a  letter  to  Reynolds 
VBtta  OB  the  last  day  of  January,  1818. 

Wnsi  I  have  fears  that  I  may  cease  to 
be 
Bdore  my  pen  has  glean'd  my  teeming 


Befoe  high  pilM  books,  in  charactry. 
Bold  like  rich  gameta  the  full-ripen'd 


Wkea  I  behold,  upon  the  night's  starr'd 
&ee, 

Hvge  cloudy  symbols  of  a  high  romance, 
iid  think  that  I  may  never  live  to  trace 
That  shadows,  with  the  mag^c  hand  of 
ehanoe; 
isd  when  I  feel,  fair  creature  of  an  hour  I 
That  I  shall  never  look  upon  thee  more, 
Jeier  have  relish  in  the  faery  power 

Of  imreflecting  love ;  —  then  on  the  shore 
Of  the  wide  world  I  stand  alone,  and  think 
IiD  Love  and  Fame  to  nothingness  do  sink. 


ON   SEEING  A  LOCK  OF 
MILTON'S   HAIR 

*I  was  at  Hnnt^s  the  other  day,'  writse 
Keats  to  Bailey,  January  23,  1818,  *and  he 
surprised  me  with  a  real  authenticated  lock  of 
MUtorCs  Hair.  I  know  you  would  like  what  I 
wrote  thereon,  so  here  it  is  —  cu  they  say  of  a 
sheep  in  a  Nursery  Book,*  'This  I  did,'  he 
adds,  after  copying  the  lines,  *  at  Hunt's  at 
his  request -^perhaps  I  should  have  done 
something  better  alone  and  at  home.'  Lord 
Houghton  printed  the  verse  in  Li/e,  Letters 
and  Literary  Remains, 

Chief  of  organic  numbers  I 

Old  Scholar  of  the  Spheres  ! 
Thy  spirit  never  slumbers. 
But  rolls  about  our  ears, 
For  ever  and  for  ever  ! 
O  what  a  mad  endeavour 
Worketh  he. 
Who  to  thy  sacred  and  ennobled  hearse 
Would  offer  a  burnt  sacrifice  of  verse 

And  melody. 

How  heavenward  thou  soundesti 

Live  Temple  of  sweet  noise, 
And  Discord  unconfoundest. 
Giving  Delight  new  joys. 
And  Pleasure  nobler  pinions  ! 
O,  where  are  thy  dominions  ? 
Lend  thine  ear 
To  a  young  Delian  oath,  —  ay,  by  thy  soul. 
By  all  that  from  thy  mortal  lips  did  roll. 
And  by  the  kernel  of  thine  earthly  love. 
Beauty,  in  things  on  earth,  and  things  above, 

I  swear ! 
When  every  childish  fashion 

Has  vanish'd  from  my  rhyme. 
Will  I,  g^y-gone  in  passion. 
Leave  to  an  after-time, 
Hymning  and  harmony 
Of  thee,  and  of  thy  works,  and  of  thy 

life; 
But  vain  is  now  the  burning  and  the  strife. 
Pangs  are  in  vain,  until  I  grow  high-rife 

With  old  Philosophy, 
And  mad  with  glimpses  of  futurity  I 


40 


EARLY  POEMS 


For  many  years  my  offering  must  be  hush'd ; 
When  I  do  speak,  I'll  think  upon  this 
hour, 
Because  I  feel  my  forehead  hot  andflush'd. 
Even    at  the    simplest    vassal    of    thy 
power,  — 
A  lock  of  thy  bright  hair — 
Sudden  it  came. 
And  I  was  startled,  when  I  caught  thy  name 

Coupled  so  unaware; 
Yet,  at  the  moment,  temperate  was  my 

blood. 
I  thought  I  had  beheld  it  from  the  flood. 


ON    SITTING    DOWN    TO    READ 
*KING   LEAR'   ONCE   AGAIN 

In  a  letter  to  his  brothers,  dated  January  23, 
1818,  Keats  says :  *  I  think  a  little  change  has 
taken  place  in  my  intellect  lately  —  I  cannot 
bear  to  be  uninterested  or  unemployed,  I,  who 
for  so  long  a  time  have  been  addicted  to  pas- 
aiyeness.  Nothing  is  finer  for  the  purposes  of 
great  productions  than  a  very  gradual  ripen- 
ing of  the  intellectual  powers.  As  an  instance 
of  this  —  observe — I  sat  down  yesterday  to 
read  King  Lear  once  again :  the  thing  ap- 
peared to  demand  the  prologue  of  a  sonnet, 
I  wrote  it,  and  began  to  read  —  (I  know  you 
would  like  to  see  it).  So  you  see,'  he  goes  on 
after  copying  the  sonnet,  '  I  am  getting  at  it 
with  a  sort  of  determination  and  streng^, 
though  verily  I  do  not  feel  it  at  this  moment.* 
The  sonnet  was  printed  in  Xt/e,  Letters  and 
Literary  Remains. 

O  OOLDEN-TONGUED  Romance,  with    se- 
rene lute ! 
Fair  plumed  Syren,  Queen  of  far  away  ! 
Leave  melodizing  on  this  wintry  day. 
Shut  up  thine  olden  pages,  and  be  mute: 
Adieu  !  for  once  ag^n  the  fierce  dispute, 
Betwixt  damnation  and  impassion'd  clay. 
Must  I  burn  through;  once  more  humbly 
assay 
The  bitter  sweet  of  this   Shakespearean 

fruit: 
Chief  Poet  I  and  ye  clouds  of  Albion, 
Begetters  of  our  deep  eternal  theme  ! 


When  through  the  old  oak  forest  I  am  gone, 

Let  me  not  wander  in  a  barren  dream, 
But  when  I  am  consnmM  in  the  Fire, 
Give  me  new  Phcsnix-wings  to  fly  at  my 
desire. 


LINES   ON    THE   MERMAID 
TAVERN 

Li  sending  his  Mobin  Hood  verses  to  Rey- 
nolds (see  next  poem),  Keats  added  the  follow- 
ing, but  from  the  tenor  of  his  letter,  it  would 
appear  that  they  had  been  written  earlier  and 
were  sent  at  Reynolds's  request.  The  poem  was 
published  by  Keats  in  his  Lamia^  Isabella^ 
The  Eve  of  St.  Agnes,  and  other  Poems,  1820. 
The  friends  were  tlien  in  full  tide  of  sympathy 
with  the  Elizabethans,  and  would  have  been 
very  much  at  home  with  Shakespeare,  Joiison, 
and  Marlowe  at  the  Mermaid. 


Souls  of  Poets  dead  and  gone, 
What  Elysium  have  ye  known, 
Happy  field  or  mossy  cavern. 
Choicer  than  the  Mennaid  Tavern  ? 
Have  ye  tippled  drink  more  fine 
Than  mine  host's  Canary  wine  ? 
Or  are  fruits  of  Paradise 
Sweeter  than  those  dainty  pies 
Of  venison  ?     O  generous  food  I 
Drest  as  though  bold  Robin  Hood 
Would,  with  his  maid  Marian, 
Sup  and  bowse  from  horn  and  can. 


to 


I  have  heard  that  on  a  day 
Mine  host's  sign-board  flew  away, 
Nobody  knew  whither,  till 
An  astrologer's  old  quill 
To  a  sheepskin  gave  the  story, 
Said  he  saw  you  in  your  glory, 
Underneath  a  new-old  sign 
Sipping  beverage  divine. 
And  pledg^g  with  contented  smack 
The  Mermaid  in  the  Zodiac. 

Souls  of  Poets  dead  and  gone, 
What  Elysium  have  ye  known, 
Happy  field  or  mossy  cavern, 
Choicer  than  the  Mermaid  Tavern  ? 


ao 


I 


TO  THE  NILE 


41 


ROBIN   HOOD 

TO  A  FRIEND 

The  friend  was  J.  H.  Reynolds,  who  had  sent 
Keats  two  sonnets  which  he  had  written  on 
Robin  Hood.  Keats's  letter,  dated  February 
3, 1818,  is  full  of  eneigetio  pleasantry  on  the 
poetry  which  *  has  a  palpable  design  upon  us,' 
and  concludes:  'Let  us  have  the  old  Poets 
and  Robin  Hood.  Your  letter  and  its  sonnets 
gave  me  more  pleasure  than  will  the  Fourth 
Book  of  ChUde  Harold,  and  the  whole  of  any- 
body's life  and  opinions.  In  return  for  your 
Dish  of  filberts,  I  have  gathered  a  few  Catkins. 
I  hope  they  11  look  pretty.'  Keats  included 
tiie  poem  in  his  Lamia,  Isabella,  The  Eve  of  St, 
Agnes  and  other  Poems,  1820,  with  some  trifling 
ehangesof  text. 

No !  those  days  are  gone  away, 
And  their  hoars  are  old  and  gray, 
And  their  minutes  buried  all 
Under  the  down-trodden  pall 
Of  the  leaves  of  many  years: 
Many  times  have  Winter's  shears, 
Frozen  North,  and  chilling  East, 
Sounded  tempests  to  the  feast 
Of  the  forest's  whispering  fleeces. 
Since  men  knew  nor  rent  nor  leases. 


10 


No,  the  bugle  sounds  no  more. 
And  the  twanging  bow  no  more; 
Silent  is  the  ivory  shrill 
Fast  the  heath  and  up  the  hill; 
There  is  no  mid-forest  laugh. 
Where  lone  Echo  gives  the  half 
To  some  wight,  amaz'd  to  hear 
Jesting,  deep  in  forest  drear. 

On  the  fairest  time  of  Jane 
Ton  may  go,  with  sun  or  moon. 
Or  the  seven  stars  to  light  you, 
Or  the  polar  ray  to  right  you; 
Bat  you  never  may  behold 
Little  John,  or  Robin  bold; 
Never  one,  of  all  the  clan, 
Thrumming  on  an  empty  can 
Some  old  hunting  ditty,  while 
He  doth  his  green  way  beguile 


ao 


To  fair  hostess  Merriment, 
Down  beside  the  pasture  Trent;  30 

For  he  left  the  merry  tale, 
Messenger  for  spicy  ale. 


Grone,  the  merry  morris  din; 
Gone,  the  song  of  Gamely n; 
Grone,  the  tough-belted  outlaw 
Idling  in  the  'gren^  shawe;' 
All  are  gone  away  and  past  I 
And  if  Robin  should  be  cast 
Sudden  from  his  turfed  grave. 
And  if  Marian  should  have 
Once  again  her  forest  days. 
She  would  weep,  and  he  would  craze: 
^e  would  swear,  for  all  his  oaks, 
Fall'n  beneath  the  dock-yard  strokes. 
Have  rotted  on  the  briny  seas; 
She  would  weep  that  her  wild  bees 
Sang  not  to  her  —  strange  I  that  honey 
Can't  be  got  without  hard  money  I 


40 


So  it  is;  yet  let  us  sing 
Honour  to  the  old  bow-string  !  50 

Honour  to  the  bugle  horn  ! 
Honour  to  the  woods  unshorn  I 
Honour  to  the  Lincoln  green  ! 
Honour  to  the  archer  keen  I 
Honour  to  tight  little  John, 
And  the  horse  he  rode  upon  ! 
Honour  to  bold  Robin  Hood, 
Sleeping  in  the  underwood  I 
Honour  to  Maid  Marian, 
And  to  all  the  Sherwood  clan  I  60 

Though  their  days  have  hurried  by. 
Let  us  two  a  burden  try. 


TO   THE   NILE 

Composed  February  4, 1818,  in  company  with 
Shelley  and  Hunt,  who  each  wrote  a  sonnet  on 
the  same  theme.  It  was  first  published  by 
Lord  Houghton  in  the  Life,  Letters  and  Liter- 
ary Bemains, 

Son  of  the  old  moon-mountains  African  ! 
Chief  of  the  Pyramid  and  Crocodile  I 
We  call  thee  fruitful,  and  that  very  while 


42 


EARLY  POEMS 


A  desert  fills  oar  seeing's  inward  span; 
Nurse  of  swart  nations  since  the  world 
began, 
Art  thou  so  froitful?  or  dost  thou  be- 
guile 
Such  men  to  honour  thee,  who,  worn  with 
toil, 
Rest  for  a  space  'twixt  Cairo  and  De- 
can? 
O  may  dark  fancies  err !     They  surely 
do; 
T  is  ignorance  that  makes  a  barren  waste 
Of  all  beyond  itself.     Thou  dost  bedew 
Green  rushes  like  our  rivers,  and  dost 
taste 
The  pleasant  sun-rise.    Green  isles  hast 
thou  too, 
And  to  the  sea  as  happily  dost  haste. 


TO   SPENSER 

Printed  in  laft^  Letters  and  Literary  Be- 
mains,  and  undated.  Afterward,  when  Lord 
Houghton  printed  it  in  the  Aldine  edition  of 
1876,  he  noted  that  he  had  seen  a  transcript 
given  by  Keats  to  Mrs.  Longpnore,  a  sister  of 
Reynolds,  dated  by  the  recipient,  February  5, 
1818.  But  Lord  Houghton  is  confident  that 
the  sonnet  was  written  much  earlier. 

Spenser  !  a  jealous  honourer  of  thine, 

A  forester  deep  in  thy  midmost  trees, 
Did  last  eve  ask  my  promise  to  refine 
Some  English  that  might  strive  thine  ear 

to  please. 
But  Elfin  Poet,  't  is  impossible 
For  an  inhabitant  of  wintry  earth 

To  rise  like  Phoebus  with  a  golden  quill 
Fire-wiug'd  and  make  a  morning  in  his 
mirth. 
It  is  impossible  to  escape  from  toil 
O'  the  sudden  and  receive  thy  spiriting: 
The  flower  must  drink  the  nature  of  the 
soil 
Before  it  can  put  forth  its  blossoming: 
Be  with  me  in  the  suouner  days,  and  I 
Will  for  thine  honour  and  his  pleasure 
try. 


SONG 

WRITTEN  ON  A  BLANK  PAGE  IN  BEAU- 
MONT AND  FLETCHER'S  WORKS,  BE- 
TWEEN *  CUPID'S  REVENGE'  AND 
*THE  TWO   NOBLE  KINSMEN* 

First  published  in  Life,  Letters  and  Literary 
JRemains,  and  undated. 

Spirit  here  that  reignest ! 
Spirit  here  that  painest  I 
Spirit  here  that  bnmest  I 
Spirit  here  that  moumest ! 

Spirit,  I  bow 

My  forehead  low, 
Enshaded  with  thy  pinions. 

Spirit,  I  look 

All  passion-struck 
Into  thy  pale  dominions. 

Spirit  here  that  laughest  I 
Spirit  here  that  quaffest ! 
Spirit  here  that  dancest ! 
Noble  soul  that  prancest ! 
Spirit,  with  thee 
I  join  in  the  glee 
A-nudging  the  elbow  of  Momus. 
Spirit,  I  flush 
With  a  Bacchanal  blush 
Just  fresh  from  the  Banquet  of 
Comus. 


FRAGMENT 

Under  the  flag 
Of  each  Mb  faction,  they  to  battle  bring 
Their  embryo  atoma. 

Mn/tox. 

Published  in  Life,  Letters  and  Literary  Be- 
mains,  without  date. 

Welcome  joy,  and  welcome  sorrow, 
Lethe's  weed  and  Hermes'  feather; 

Come  to-day,  and  come  to-morrow, 
I  do  love  you  both  together ! 
I  love  to  mark  sad  faces  in  fair  weather; 

And  hear  a  merry  laugh  amid  the  thunder; 


WRITTEN   IN   ANSWER  TO  A   SONNET 


43 


Fair  tad  fool  I  lore  together. 
Xeadowi  sweet  wliere  flrnmes  are  under, 
Aid  a  gigi^  at  a  wonder; 
ViMge  Mge  at  pantomime; 
Fnenly  and  steeple-chime; 
Iifuit  plajing  with  a  sknll; 
Mflnittg  hdtf  and  shipwreck'd  hull; 
Kgihtihade  with  the  woodbine  kissing; 
Serpents  in  red  roses  hissing; 
Claopatra  regal-dress'd 
With  the  aspic  at  her  breast; 
Dudng  music,  music  sad, 
Both  together,  sane  and  mad; 
Mises  bright,  and  muses  pale; 
Sombre  Saturn,  Momns  hale;  — 
Liogh  and  sigh,  and  laugh  again; 
Ob,  the  sweetness  of  the  pain  ! 
MiiiBs  bright  and  muses  pale, 
Bin  jour  faces  of  the  veil; 
Let  me  see;  and  let  me  write 
Of  the  day,  and  of  the  night — 
Both  together  :  —  let  me  slake 
AO  mj  thirst  for  sweet  heart-ache  I 
Let  mj  bower  be  of  yew, 
litenrieath'd  with  myrtles  new; 
Ram  and  lime-trees  full  in  bloom, 
Aid  mj  eonoh  a  low  grass-tomb. 


WHAT  THE  THRUSH   SAID 

a  tloBg  letter  to  Re3riH>ldi,  dated  February 
'^  ISIS,  Keata  writes  earnestly  of  the  sonrcee 
"  hiyintioii  to  a  poet,  and  especially  of  the 
^9i%  leeeptiTe  attitude :  '  Let  ns  open  our 
*«i  like  a  flcnrer,  and  be  paasiye  and  re- 
^'fAn;  bedding  patiently  under  the  eye  of 
^|do  and  taking  hints  from  every  noble 
ana  dbat  favours  us  with  a  visit  —  Sap  will 
*|i*iB  ua  for  meat,  and  dew  for  drink.  I 
^  ltd  iato  these  thoughts,  my  dear  Reynolds, 
Vtki  beauty  of  the  morning  operating  on  a 
■m  ef  TdlimesB.  I  have  not  read  any  Book 
^tki  llonnng  said  I  was  right — I  had  no 
iAa  hit  eC  the  Homing,  and  the  Thrush  said 
I  Sit  right,  sssming  to  say,'  and  then  follows 
It  was  first  printed  in  Life,  Letters 
Memaifu. 


O  THOU  whose  face  hath  felt  the  Winter's 

wind. 
Whose  eye  has  seen  the  snow-clouds  hung 

in  mist. 
And  the  black  elm  tops  'mong  the  freezing 

stars, 
To  thee  the  spring  will  be  a  harvest-time. 
O  thou,  whose  only  book  has  been  the  light 
Of  supreme  darkness  which  thou  feddest  on 
Night  after  night  when  Phoebus  was  away. 
To  thee  the  Spring  shall  be  a  triple  mom. 
O  fret  not  after  knowledge  —  I  have  none. 
And  yet  my  song  comes  native  with  the 

warmth. 
O  fret  not  after  knowledge  —  I  have  none. 
And  yet  the  Evening  listens.    He  who  sad- 
dens 
At  thought  of  idleness  cannot  be  idle. 
And  he 's  awake  who  thinks  himself  asleep. 


WRITTEN     IN     ANSWER    TO    A 
SONNET  ENDING   THUS:  — 


T^ 


'  Dark  eyes  are  dearer  far 
thoae  that  mock  the  hyacinthine  bell  * 

Bt  J.  H.  Rbtholm. 


Dated  by  Lord  Houghton  '  February,  1818,' 
in  Lijey  Letters  and  Literary  RemainSf  where  it 
was  first  printed. 

Blue  !     'T  is  the  life  of  heaven,  —  the  do- 
main 
Of  Cynthia,  —  the  wide  palace  of  the 
sun, — 
The  tent  of  Hesperus,  and  all  his  train,  — 
The  bosomer  of  clouds,  gold,  gray,  and 
dun. 
Blue  !     *T  is  the  life  of  waters  —  ocean 
And  all  its  vassal  streams,  pools  num- 
berless. 
May  rage,  and  foam,  and  fret,  but  never  can 

Subside,  if  not  to  dark  blue  nativeness. 
Blue  !     Gentle  cousin  of  the  forest-green. 
Married  to  green  in  all   the  sweetest 
flowers,  — 
Forget-me-not,  — the  blue  bell,  —  and,  that 
queen 


44 


EARLY   POEMS 


Of  secrecy,  the  Tiolet:    what    strange 

powers 
Hast  thou,  as  a  mere  shadow  !    Bat  how 

great, 
When  in  an  Eye  thou  art,  alive  with  fate  I 


TO  JOHN   HAMILTON 
REYNOLDS 

Undated,  but  placed  by  Lord  Honghton  di- 
rectly after  the  preceding  in  Liftj  Letters  and 
Litercary  JRemairu. 

O  THAT  a  week  could  be  an  age,  and  we 
Felt  parting  and  warm  meeting  every 
week; 
Then  one  poor  year  a  thousand  years  would 
be, 
The  flush  of  welcome  ever  on  the  cheek: 
So  could  we  live  long  life  in  little  space. 

So  time  itself  would  be  annihilate, 
So  a  day's  journey  in  oblivious  haze 

To  serve  our  joys  would  lengthen  and 
dilate. 
O  to  arrive  each  Monday  mom  from  Ind ! 
To  land  each  Tuesday  from  the  rich  Le- 
vant ! 
In  little  time  a  host  of  joys  to  bind, 
And  keep  our  souls  in  one  eternal  pant  I 


This  mom,  my  friend,  and  yester-evening 

taught 
Me  how  to  harbor  such  a  happy  thought. 


THE   HUMAN   SEASONS 

This  sonnet  was  sent  by  Keati  in  a  letter  to 
Benjamin  Bailey,  &om  Teignmouth,  Maieh  13, 
1818,  and  was  printed  the  next  year  in  ILtagh 
Hunt's  Literary  Pocket-Book,  but  Keata  did 
not  include  the  verses  in  his  1820  volume. 

Four  Seasons  fill  the  measure  of  the  year; 

There  are  four  seasons  in  the  mind  of 
man: 
He  has  his  lusty  Spring,  when  fancy  clear 

Takes  in  all  beauty  with  an  easy  span: 
He  has  his  Sunmner,  when  luxuriously 

Spring's  honied  cud  of  youthful  thought 
he  loves 
To  ruminate,  and  by  such  dreaming  high 

Is  nearest  unto  heaven:  quiet  coves 
EEis  soul  has  in  its  Autumn,  when  his  wings 

He  furleth  close;  contented  so  to  look 
On  mists  in  idleness  —  to  let  fair  things 

Pass  by  unheeded  as  a  threshold  brook. 
He  has  bis  Winter  too  of  pale  misfeature, 
Or  else  he  would  forego  his  mortal  na- 
ture. 


^^^^B 

I 


ENDYMION 


Kkats  began  this  poem  in  the  spring  of 
1817  and  finished  it  and  saw  it  through  the 
press  in  jost  about  a  year.  It  is  interesting 
to  follow  in  his  correspondence  the  growth 
of  the  poem.  The  subject  in  general  had 
been  in  his  mind  at  least  since  the  sum- 
mer of  1816,  when  he  wrote  /  stood  tiptoe 
i^pofi  a  little  hiUf  and  the  poem  Sleq)  and 
Poetry  hints  also  at  the  occupation  of  his 
mind,  though  through  all  the  earlier  and 
partly  imitatiye  period  of  his  poetical  growth 
he  was  drawn  almost  equally  by  the  ro- 
mance to  which  Spenser  and  Leigh  Hunt  in- 
troduced him,  and  the  classic  themes  which 
his  early  studies,  Chapman  and  the  Elgin 
marUeSy  all  conspired  to  make  real.  In 
April,  1817,  he  writes  as  one  absorbed  in 
the  delights  of  poetry  and  stimulated  by  it 
to  production.  '  I  find/  he  writes  to  Rey- 
nolds from  Carisbrooke,  April  18,  '  I  can- 
not exist  without  Poetry  —  half  the  day 
will  not  do  —  the  whole  of  it  —  I  began 
with  a  little,  but  habit  has  made  me  a  Le- 
Tiathan.  I  had  become  all  in  a  Tremble 
from  not  having  written  anything  of  late 
—  the  Sonnet  overleaf  [^On  the  Sea]  did 
me  good.  I  slept  the  better  last  night  for 
it  —  this  morning,  however,  I  am  nearly  as 
bad  again.  Just  now  I  opened  Spenser, 
and  the  first  lines  I  saw  were  these  — 

*^Th»    noble   heart    that    harbours   virtuous 

thought. 
And  is  with  child  of  glorious  great  intent. 
Can  never  rest  until  it  forth  have  brought 
Tb*  eternal  brood  of  glory  excellent." 

...  I  shall  forthwith  begin  my  Endytmon^ 
which  I  hope  I  shall  have  got  some  way 
with  by  the  time  yon  come,  when  we  wiU 
read  oar  verses  in  a  delightful  place  I  have 
set  my  heart  upon,  near  the  Castle.' 

He  reported  progress  to  his  friends  from 
time  to  time  during  the  summer:  the  poem 


was  his  great  occupation,  and  he  had  the 
alternate  exhilaration  and  depression  which 
such  an  undertaking  naturally  would  pro- 
duce in  a  temperament  as  sensitive  as  his; 
indeed,  one  is  not  surprised  to  find  him 
near  the  end  of  September  expressing  him- 
self to  Haydon  as  tired  of  the  poem,  and 
looking  forward  to  a  Romance  to  which  he 
meant  to  devote  himself  the  next  summer, 
for  so  did  his  mind  swing  back  and  forth, 
though  in  truth  romance  was  always  upper- 
most, whether  expressed  in  terms  of  Gre- 
cian mythology  or  medievalism.  But  the 
main  significance  of  Endymion,  as  one  traces 
the  growth  of  Keats's  mind,  is  in  the  strong 
impulse  which  possessed  him  to  try  his 
wings  in  a  great  flight.  In  a  letter  to  Bai- 
ley, October  8,  1817,  he  quotes  from  his 
own  letter  to  George  Keats  *  in  the  spring,' 
and  thus  at  the  very  time  of  his  setting' 
forth  on  his  great  venture,  the  following 
notable  passage  :  — 

*  As  to  what  you  say  about  my  being  a 
Poet,  I  can  return  no  answer  but  by  saying 
that  the  high  idea  I  have  of  poetical  fame 
makes  me  think  I  see  it  towering  too  high 
above  me.  At  any  rate  I  have  no  right  to 
talk  until  Endymion  is  finished  —  it  will  be 
a  test,  a  trial  of  my  Powers  of  Imagina- 
tion, and  chiefly  of  my  invention,  which  is 
a  rare  thing  indeed  —  by  which  I  must 
make  4000  lines  of  one  bare  circumstance, 
and  fill  them  with  Poetry: and  when  I  con- 
sider that  this  is  a  great  task,  and  that 
when  done  it  will  take  me  but  a  dozen 
paces  towards  the  temple  of  fame  —  it 
makes  me  say:  Grod  forbid  that  I  should 
be  without  such  a  task  !  I  have  heard  Hunt 
say,  and  I  may  be  asked — **  Why  endeavour 
after  a  long  Poem  ?  "  To  which  I  would 
answer.  Do  not  the  lovers  of  poetry  like  to 
have  a  little  region  to  wander  in,  where 


45 


46 


ENDYMION 


they  may  pick  and  choose,  and  in  which 
the  images  are  so  numerous  that  many  are 
forgotten  and  found  new  in  a  second  read- 
ing: which  may  be  food  for  a  week's  stroll 
in  summer  ?  Do  not  they  like  this  better 
than  what  they  can  read  through  before 
Mrs.  Williams  comes  down  stairs  ?  a  morn- 
ing work  at  most. 

'  Besides,  a  long  poem  is  a  test  of  inven- 
tion, which  I  take  to  be  the  polar  star  of 
Poetry,  as  Fancy  is  the  sails,  and  Imagina- 
tion the  rudder.  Did  our  great  Poets  ever 
write  short  Pieces  ?  I  mean  in  the  shape  of 
Tales  —  this  same  invention  seems  indeed 
of  late  years  to  have  been  forgotten  as  a 
poetical  excellence  —  But  enough  of  this; 
I  put  on  no  laurels  till  I  shall  have  finished 
EndymUm' 

Keats  was  drawing  near  the  end  of  his 
task  when  he  wrote  to  Bailey  November 
22:  '  At  present  I  am  just  arrived  at  Dork- 
ing—  to  change  the  scene,  change  the  air 


and  give  me  a  spur  to  wind  up  my  Poem, 
of  which  there  are  wanting  500  lines.'  And 
at  the  end  of  the  first  draft  is  written  *  Bur- 
ford  Bridge  [near  Dorking]  November  28, 
1817.'  Early  in  January,  1818,  Keats  gave 
the  first  book  to  Taylor,  who  'seemed,' 
he  says,  *  more  than  satisfied  with  it,'  and 
to  Keats's  surprise  proposed  issuing  it  in 
quarto  if  Haydon  would  make  a  drawing 
for  a  frontispiece.  *  Haydon,  when  asked, 
was  more  eager  to  paint  a  picture  from 
some  scene  in  the  book,  but  proposed  now 
to  make  a  finished  chalk  sketch  of  Keats's 
head  to  be  engraved  for  a  frontispiece; 
for  some  unmentioned  reason,  this  plan  was 
not  carried  out. 

Keats  was  copying  out  the  poem  for  the 
printer,  giving  it  in  book  by  book  and  read- 
ing the  proofs  until  April,  when  it  was 
ready  save  the  Preface.  This  with  dedica- 
tion and  title-page  he  had  sent  to  his  Pub- 
lishers March  21.    They  were  as  follows: 


ENDYMION 

A    ROMANCE 
By  John  Keats 

'The  stretched  metre  of  an  antique  song.* 

INSCRIBED, 

WITH   EVERY   FEELING  OF   PRIDE  AND  REGRET 

AND   WITH    «A   BOWED   MIND* 

TO  THE   MEMORY  OF 

THE  MOST  ENGLISH   OF  POETS  EXCEPT  SHAKSPEARE, 

THOMAS   CHATTERTON 


PREFACE 

In  a  great  nation,  the  work  of  an  indi- 
yidaal  is  of  so  little  importance;  his  plead- 
ings and  excuses  are  so  uninteresting;  his 
*  way  of  life '  such  a  nothing,  that  a  Preface 
seems  a  sort  of  impertinent  how  to  strangers 
who  care  nothing  about  it. 

A  Preface,  however,  should  be  down  in 
so  many  words;  and  such  a  one  that  by  an 


eye-glance  over  the  type  the  Reader  may 
catch  an  idea  of  an  Author's  modesty,  and 
non-opinion  of  himself  —  which  I  sincerely 
hope  may  be  seen  in  the  few  lines  I  have 
to  write,  notwithstanding  many  proverbs  of 
many  ages  old  which  men  find  a  great  plea- 
sure in  receiving  as  gospel. 

About  a  twelvemonth  since,  I  published 
a  little  book  of  verses  ;  it  was  read  by  some 
dozen  of  my  friends  who  lik'd  it;  and  some 


ENDYMION 


47 


dooen  whom  I  was  unacquainted  with,  who 
did  not. 

Now»  when  a  dozen  human  beings  are  at 
words  with  another  dozen,  it  becomes  a 
matter  of  anxiety  to  side  with  one's  friends 
-—  more  especially  when  excited  thereto  by 
a  great  love  of  Poetry.  I  fought  under 
disadyantages.  Before  I  began  I  had  no 
in¥rard  feel  of  being  able  to  finish;  and  as 
I  proceeded  my  steps  were  all  uncertain. 
So  this  Poem  must  rather  be  considered  as 
an  endeavour  than  as  a  thing  accomplished; 
a  poor  prologue  to  what,  if  I  live,  I  humbly 
hope  to  do.  In  duty  to  the  Public  I  should 
have  kept  it  back  for  a  year  or  two,  know- 
ing it  to  be  so  faulty;  but  I  really  cannot 
do  so,  —  by  repetition  my  favourite  pas- 
sages sound  vapid  in  my  ears,  and  I  would 
rather  redeem  myself  with  a  new  Poem 
should  this  one  be  found  of  any  interest. 

I  have  to  apologize  to  the  lovers  of  sim- 
plicity for  touching  the  spell  of  loneliness 
that  hung  about  Endymion ;  if  any  of  my 
lines  plead  for  me  with  such  people  I  shall 
be  proud. 

It  has  been  too  much  the  fashion  of  late 
to  consider  men  bigoted  and  addicted  to 
every  word  that  may  chance  to  escape  their 
lips;  now  I  here  declare  that  I  have  not 
any  particular  afiPection  for  any  particular 
phrase,  word,  or  letter  in  the  whole  affair. 
I  have  written  to  please  myself,  and  in 
hopes  to  please  others,  and  for  a  love  of 
fame;  if  I  neither  please  myself,  nor 
others,  nor  g^t  fame,  of  what  consequence 
is  Phraseology. 

I  would  fain  escape  the  bickerings  that 
all  works  not  exactly  in  chime  bring  upon 
their  begetters  —  but  this  is  not  fair  to  ex- 
pect, there  must  be  conversation  of  some 
sort  and  to  object  shows  a  man's  conse- 
quence. In  case  of  a  London  drizzle  or  a 
Scotch  mist,  the  following  quotation  from 
Marston  may  perhaps  'stead  me  as  an  um- 
brella for  an  hour  or  so:  '  let  it  be  the  cur- 
tesy of  my  peruser  rather  to  pity  my  self- 
bindering  labours  than  to  malice  me.' 

One  word  more  —  for  we  cannot  help 


seeing  our  own  affairs  in  every  point  of 
view  —  should  any  one  call  my  dedication 
to  Chatterton  affected  I  answer  as  foUow- 
eth:  'Were  I  dead,  sir,  I  should  like  a 
book  dedicated  to  me.' 

TmONMOUTHf 

March  19(A,  1818. 

This  Preface  was  shown  either  before  or 
after  it  was  in  type  to  Reynolds  and  other 
friends,  and  Reynolds  objected  to  it  in 
terms  which  may  be  inferred  from  the  fol- 
lowing letter  which  Keats  wrote  him  April 
9, 1818,  and  which  is  so  striking  a  reflection 
of  bis  mind,  when  contemplating  his  finished 
work,  that  it  should  be  read  in  connection 
with  the  poem:  — 

'  Since  you  all  agree  that  the  thing  is 
bad,  it  must  be  so  —  though  I  am  not  aware 
there  is  anything  like  Hunt  in  it  (and  if 
there  is,  it  is  my  natural  way,  and  I  have 
something  in  common  with  Hunt).  Look 
it  over  again,  and  examine  into  the  motives, 
the  seeds,  from  which  any  one  sentence 
sprung  —  I  have  not  the  slightest  feel  of 
humility  toward  the  public  —  or  to  anything 
in  existence,  —  but  the  eternal  Being,  the 
Principle  of  Beauty,  and  the  Memory  of 
Great  Men.  When  I  am  writing  for  my- 
self for  the  mere  sake  of  the  moment's 
enjoyment,  perhaps  nature  has  its  course 
with  me  —  but  a  Preface  is  written  to  the 
Public;  a  thing  I  cannot  help  looking  upon 
as  an  Enemy,  and  which  I  cannot  address 
without  feelings  of  Hostility.  If  I  write  a 
Preface  in  a  supple  or  subdued  style,  it  will 
not  be  in  character  with  me  as  a  public 
speaker  —  I  would  be  subdued  before  my 
friends,  and  thank  them  for  subduing  me  — 
but  among  Multitudes  of  Men  —  I  have  no 
feel  of  stooping;  I  hate  the  idea  of  hu- 
mility to  them. 

*  I  never  wrote  one  single  line  of  Poetry 
with  the  least  Shadow  of  public  thought. 

<  Forgive  me  for  vexing  you  and  making 
a  Trojan  horse  of  such  a  Trifle,  both  with 
respect  to  the  matter  in  question,  and  my- 
self— but  it  eases  me  to  tell  you — I  could 


48 


ENDYMION 


not  live  without  the  love  of  my  friends  —  I 
would  jump  down  ^tna  for  any  great  Pub- 
lic good  —  but  I  hate  a  mawkish  Popularity. 
I  cannot  be  subdued  before  them ;  my  Glory 
would  be  to  daunt  and  dazzle  the  thousand 
jabberers  about  pictures  and  books.  I  see 
swarms  of  Porcupines  with  their  quills 
erect  ''like  lime-twigs  set  to  catch  my 
winged  book,"  and  I  would  fright  them  away 
with  a  torch.  You  will  say  my  Preface  is 
not  much  of  a  Torch.  It  would  have  been 
too  insulting  "  to  begin  from  Jove/'  and  I 
could  not  set  a  golden  head  upon  a  thing  of 
clay.  If  there  is  any  fault  in  the  Preface 
it  is  not  affectation,  but  an  undersong  of 
disrespect  to  the  Public.  If  I  write  an- 
other Preface,  it  must  be  without  a  thought 
of  those  people — I  will  think  about  it.  If  it 
should  not  reach  you  in  four  or  five  days,  tell 
Taylor  to  publish  it  without  a  Preface,  and 
let  the  Dedication  simply  stand  **  Inscribed 
to  the  Memory  of  Thomas  Chatterton.'" 
The  next  day  he  wrote  to  his  friend,  in- 
closing a  new  draft:  'I  am  anxious  you 
should  find  this  Preface  tolerable.  If  there 
is  an  affectation  in  it  'tis  natural  to  me. 
Do  let  the  Printer's  Devil  cook  it,  and  let 
me  be  as  "the  casing  air."  You  are  too 
good  in  this  matter  —  were  I  in  your  state, 
I  am  certain  I  should  have  no  thought  but 
of  discontent  and  illness  —  I  might  though 
be  taught  Patience:  I  had  an  idea  of  giving 
no  Preface;  however,  don't  you  think  this 
had  better  go  ?  O,  let  it  —  one  should  not 
be  too  timid  —  of  committing  faults.' 

The  Dedication  stood  as  Keats  proposed, 
and  the  new  Preface,  which  is  as  follows  : 

PREFACE 

Knowing  within  myself  the  manner  in 
which  this  Poem  has  been  produced,  it  is 
not  without  a  feeling  of  regret  that  I  make 
it  public. 


What  manner  I  mean,  will  be  quite  dear 
to  the  reader,  who  must  soon  perceive  great 
inexperience,  immaturity,  and  every  error 
denoting  a  feverish  attempt,  rather  than  a 
deed  accomplished.  The  two  first  boc^ESy 
and  indeed  the  two  last,  I  feel  sensible  are 
not  of  such  completion  as  to  warrant  their 
passing  the  press;  nor  should  they  if  I 
thought  a  year's  castigation  would  do  them 
any  good; — it  will  not:  the  foundations  are 
too  sandy.  It  is  just  that  this  youngster 
should  die  away:  a  sad  thought  for  me,  if 
I  had  not  some  hope  that  while  it  is  dwin- 
dling I  may  be  plotting,  and  fitting  myself 
for  verses  fit  to  live. 

This  may  be  speaking  too  presumpta- 
ously,  and  may  deserve  a  punishment:  but 
no  feeling  man  will  be  forward  to  inflict 
it:  he  will  leave  me  alone,  with  the  convic- 
tion that  there  is  not  a  fiercer  hell  than 
the  failure  in  a  great  object.  This  is  not 
written  with  the  least  atom  of  purpose  to 
forestall  criticisms  of  course,  but  from  the 
desire  I  have  to  conciliate  men  who  are 
competent  to  look,  and  who  do  look  with  a 
zealous  eye,  to  the  honour  of  English  lit* 
erature. 

The  imagination  of  a  boy  is  healthy,  and 
the  mature  imagination  of  a  man  is  healthy; 
but  there  is  a  space  of  life  between,  in  which 
the  soul  is  in  a  ferment,  the  character  un- 
decided, the  way  of  life  uncertain,  the 
ambition  thick-sighted:  thence  proceeds 
mawkishness,  and  all  the  thousand  bitters 
which  those  men  I  speak  of  must  necessarily 
taste  in  going  over  the  following  pages. 

I  hope  I  have  not  in  too  late  a  day 
touched  the  beautiful  mythology  of  Greeoey 
and  dulled  its  brightness:  for  I  wish  to  try 
once  more,  before  I  bid  it  fareweL 

Teionmouth, 
April  10, 1818. 


BOOK  FIRST 


49 


i  BOOK  I 

[ 

I    AnDBecfbaanlj  11  a  joy  forever: 
j    Til  fcif iliiiM  innrrinrf:  it  will  never 
'    FhMiBlo  BodiiiigiMfls;  bnt  still  will  keep 
A  bwtr  qnet  for  oi,  mnd  a  sleep 
M  el  sii<ot  dreMDS,  mnd  health,  and  quiet 


1kKfbce»  on  ererj  morrow,  are  we  wreath- 

AisBMj  hand  to  bind  as  to  the  earth, 
fipilsof  dflspoodence,  of  the  inhnman  dearth 
OfioUe  aatmos,  of  the  gloomy  days, 
Of  til  the  nnhealthy  and  o'er -darkened 
ways  lo 

lUkt  for  our  searelung :  yes,  in  spite  of 

ham  shape  of  beauty  moves  away  the  pall 
hm  our  darik  spirits.    Such  the  sun,  the 


hv  old  and  young,  sprouting  a  shady 

boon 
fwrnple  sheep;  and  such  are  daffodils 
Vkk  the  green  world  they  live  in ;  and  clear 

liOs 
Ast  for  themselves  a  cooling  covert  make 
^GttMt  the  hot  season ;  the  mid-forest  brake, 
liih  with  a  sprinkling  of  fair  musk-rose 
blooms :  19 

Aii  neh  too  is  the  grandeur  of  the  dooms 
We  have  imaginfid  for  the  mighty  dead; 
AH lovaiy  tales  that  we  have  heard  or  read: 
fountain  of  immortal  drink, 
mto  OS  from  the  heaven's  brink. 


Saa  do  we  merely  feel  these  essences 
Fer  ene  short  hour;  no,  even  as  the  trees 
■hispuii'  round  a  temple  become  soon 
as  the  temple's  self,  so  does  the  moon, 
Ths  pMsioo  poesy,  glories  infinite,  39 

Bmtat  as  till  they  become  a  cheering  light 
UMo  oar  souls,  and  bound  to  us  so  fast, 
Ihst,  whether  there  be  shine,  or  gloom  o'er- 


They  ahray  must  be  with  us,  or  we  die. 

Therefbre  't  is  jirith  full  happiness  that  I 
W3I  taee  the  story  of  Endymion. 


The  very  music  of  the  name  has  gone 
Into  my  being,  and  each  pleasant  scene 
Is  growing  fresh  before  me  as  the  green 
Of  our  own  valleys:  so  I  will  begin 
Now  while  I  cannot  hear  the  city's  din;    40 
Now  while  the  early  bndders  are  just  new, 
And  run  in  mazes  of  the  youngest  hue 
About  old  forests;  while  the  willow  trails 
Its  delicate  amber;  and  the  dairy  pails 
Bring  home  increase  of  milk.     And,  as  the 

year 
Grows  lush  in  juicy  stalks,  I  '11  smoothly 

steer 
My  little  boat,  for  many  quiet  hours, 
With  streams  that  deepen  freshly  into  bow- 
ers. 
Many  and  many  a  verse  I  hope  to  write. 
Before   the  daisies,  vermeil   rinmi'd  and 
white,  50 

Hide  in  deep  herbage;  and  ere  yet  the  bees 
Hum  about  globes  of  clover  and  sweet  peas, 
I  must  be  near  the  middle  of  my  story. 
O  may  no  wintry  season,  bare,  and  hoary. 
See  it  half-finish'd:  but  let  Autumn  bold. 
With  universal  tinge  of  sober  gold, 
Be  all  about  me  when  I  make  an  end. 
And  now  at  once,  adventuresome,  I  send 
My  herald  thought  into  a  wilderness: 
There  let  its  trumpet  blow,  and  quickly 
dress  60 

My  uncertain  path  with  green,  that  I  may 

speed 
Easily  onward,  thorough  flowers  and  weed. 

Upon  the  sides  of  Latmos  was  outspread 
A  mighty  forest;  for  the  moist  earth  fed 
So  plenteously  all  weed-hidden  roots 
Into    o'erhanging    boughs,    and    precious 

fruits. 
And  it  had   gloomy  shades,  sequestered 

deep. 
Where  no  man  went;  and  if  from  shepherd's 

keep 
A  lamb  stray'd  far  a-down  those  inmost 

glens. 
Never  again  saw  he  the  happy  pens  70 

Whither  his  brethren,  bleating  with  con- 
tent. 


so 


ENDYMION 


Over  the  hills  at  every  nightfall  went. 
Amdng  the  shepherds,  'twas  believed  ever* 
That  not  one  fleecy  lamb  which  thus  did 

sever 
From  the  white  flock,  but  passed  unworriM 
By  angry  wolf,  or  pard  with  prying  head, 
Until  it  came  to  some  unf  ooted  plains 
Where  fed  the  herds  of  Pan:  aye  great  his 

gains 
Who  thus  one  lamb  did  lose.     Paths  there 

were  many, 
Winding  through  palmy  fern,  and  rushes 

fenny,  80 

And  ivy  banks;  all  leading  pleasantly 
To  a  wide  lawn,  whence  one  could  only  see 
Stems  thronging  all  around  between  the 

swell 
Of  turf  and  slanting  branches:  who  could 

tell 
The    freshness    of    the  space  of    heaven 

above, 
Edged  round  with  dark  tree-tops  ?  through 

which  a  dove 
Would  often  beat  its  wings,  and  often  too 
A  little  cloud  would  move  across  the  blue. 

Full  in  the  middle  of  this  pleasantness 
There  stood  a  marble  altar,  with  a  tress  90 
Of  flowers  budded  newly;  and  the  dew 
Had  taken  fairy  phantasies  to  strew 
Daisies  upon  the  sacred  sward  last  eve, 
And  so  the  dawned  light  in  pomp  receive. 
For  't  was  the  morn:  Apollo's  upward  fire 
Made  every  eastern  cloud  a  silvery  pyre 
Of  brightness  so  unsullied,  that  therein 
A  melancholy  spirit  well  might  win 
Oblivion,  and  melt  out  his  essence  fine 
Into  the  winds:  rain-scented  eglantine     100 
Gave  temperate  sweets  to  that  well-wooing 

sun; 
The  lark  was  lost  in  him;  cold  springs  had 

run 
To  warm  their  chilliest  bubbles  in  the  grass; 
Man's  voice  was  on  the  mountains;  and  the 

mass 
Of  nature's  lives  and  wonders  pulsed  ten- 
fold. 
To  feel  this  sun-rise  and  its  glories  old. 


Now  while  the  silent  workings  of  the 

dawn  • 

Were  busiest,  into  that  self-same  lawn 
All  suddenly,  with  joyful  cries,  there  sped 
A  troop  of  little  children  g^landed;        no 
Who  gathering  round  the  altar  seem'd  to  pry 
Earnestly  round  as  wishing  to  espy 
Some  folk  of  holiday:  nor  had  they  ¥raited 
For  many  moments,  ere  their  ears  were 

sated 
With  a  faint  breath  of  music,  which  ev'n 

then 
Fill'd  out  its  voice,  and  died  away  again. 
Within  a  little  space  again  it  gave 
Its  airy  swellings,  with  a  gentle  wave, 
To  light-hung  leaves,  in  smoothest  echoes 

breaking 
Through   copse -clad   valleys,  —  ere  their 

death,  o'ertaking 
The  surgy  murmurs  of  the  lonely  sea. 


1 30 


And  now,  as  deep  into  the  wood  as  we 
Might  mark  a  lynx's  eye,  there  glimmer'd 

light 
Fair  faces  and  a  rush  of  garments  white. 
Plainer  and  plainer  showing,  till  at  last 
Into  the  widest  alley  they  all  past, 
Making  directly  for  the  woodland  altar. 
O  kindly  muse  !  lot  not  my  weak  tongue 

faulter 
In  telling  of  this  goodly  company. 
Of  their  old  piety,  and  of  their  glee:        13* 
But  let  a  portion  of  ethereal  dew 
Fall  on  my  head,  and  presently  unmew 
My  soul;  that  I  may  dare,  in  wayfaring, 
To  stammer  where  old  Chaucer  used  to 

sing. 

Leading  the  way,  young  damsels  danced 

along, 
Bearing  the  burden  of  a  shepherd  song; 
Each  having  a  white  wicker,  overbrimm'd 
With  April's  tender  younglings:  next,  well 

trimm'd, 
A  crowd  of  shepherds  with  as  sunburnt 

looks 
As  may  be  read  of  in  Arcadian  books;     140 
Such  as  sat  listemng  round  ApolJo's  pipe. 


BOOK  FIRST 


SI 


WksB  the  gieai  deity,  for  earth  too  ripe, 
Let  his  drrimty.o'erflowing  die 
Ii  maac^  throngli  the  yales  of  Thessaly: 
&Be  idly  trmil'd  their  sheep-hooks  on  the 

ground, 
iid  some  kept  ap  a  shrilly  mellow  soand 
With  eboD-tipped  flates:  close  after  these, 
Soveoming  from  beneath  the  forest  trees, 
AfenemUe  priest  full  soberly, 
Begirt  with  minist'ring  looks:  alway  his 

eye  150 

Steidlist  apon  the  matted  turf  he  kept, 
Aid  after  him  his  sacred  vestments  swept. 
Ftom  his  right  hand  there  swung  a  vase, 

milk-white. 
Of  nuB^ed  wine,  out-sparkling  generoas 

Hght; 
Aid  ia  his  left  he  held  a  basket  full 
(HtQ  iweet  herbs  that  searching  eye  could 

eaU: 
^  thyme,  and  valley-lilies  whiter  still 
^  Leda's  love,  and  cresses  from  the  rill. 
Hii  iged   head,  crowned  with    beechen 

wreath, 
SiM^d  like  a  poll  of  ivy  in  the  teeth       160 
Of  winter    hoar.    Then    came    another 

crowd 
Of  ihspberds,  lifting  in  due  time  aloud 
laeir  share  of  the  ditty.     After  them  ap- 
peared, 
rp-CoUow'd  by  a  multitude  that  rear'd 

to  the  clonds,  a  fair-wrought 


Esoly  rolling  so  as  scarce  to  mar 

Tim  freedom  of  three  steeds  of  dapple 

otown: 
Who  stood  therein  did  seem  of  great  re- 


the  throng.     His  youth  was  fully 

blown. 

Shoving  like  Ganymede  to  manhood  g^wn ; 
Aaiy  lor  those  simple  times,  his  garments 

were  171 

1  chieftain  king's  ;  beneath  his  breast,  half 

Was  hmg  a  sflver  bugle,  and  between 
Bis  nervy  knees  there  lay  a  boaiHipear 


A  smile  was  on  his  countenance  ;  he  seem'd 
To    common    lookers-on,    like    one    who 

dream'd 
Of  idleness  in  g^ves  Elysian: 
But  there  were  some  who  feelingly  could 

scan 
A  lurking  trouble  in  his  nether  lip. 
And  see  that  oftentimes  the  reins  would  slip 
Through  his  forgotten  hands:  then  would 

they  sigh,  181 

And  think  of  yellow  leaves,  of  owlets'  cry, 
Of  logs  piled  solemnly.  —  Ah,  well-a-day, 
Why   should   our  young   Endymion  pine 

away ! 

Soon  the  assembly,  in  a  circle  ranged. 
Stood  silent  round  the  shrine:  each  look 

was  changed 
To  sudden  veneration:  women  meek 
Beckon'd  their  sous  to  silence;  while  each 

cheek 
Of  virgin  bloom  paled  gently  for  slight  fear. 
Endymion  too,  without  a  forest  peer,.       190 
Stood,  wan,  and  pale,  and  with  an  awed 

face. 
Among  his  brothers  of  the  mountain  chase. 
In  midst  of  all,  the  venerable  priest 
Eyed  them  with  joy  from  greatest  to  the 

least, 
And,  after  lifting  up  his  aged  hands. 
Thus  spake  he:  '  Men  of  Latmos  !  shepherd 

bands ! 
Whose  care  it  is  to  guard  a  thousand  flocks: 
Whether  descended  from  beneath  the  rocks 
That    overtop  your    mountains;    whether 

come 
From  valleys    where    the    pipe  is  never 

dumb;  200 

Or  from  your  swelling  downs,  where  sweet 

air  stirs 
Blue  harebells  lightly,  and  where  prickly 

furze 
Buds  lavish  gold;  or  ye,  whose  precious 

charge 
Nibble  their  fill  at  ocean's  very  maige. 
Whose    mellow    reeds    are    touch'd  with 

sounds  forlorn 
By  the  dim  echoes  of  old  Triton's  horn: 


s« 


ENDYMION 


Mothers  and  wives  I  who  day  by  day  pre- 
pare 
The  scrip,  with  needments,  for  the  moun- 
tain air; 
And  all  ye  gentle  girls  who  foster  up 
Udderless  lambs,  and  in  a  little  cup        aio 
Will  put  choice  honey  for  a  favoured  youth: 
Yea,  every  one  attend !  for  in  good  truth 
.Our  vows  are  wanting  to  our  great  god 

Pan. 
Are  not  our  lowing  heifers  sleeker  than 
Night-swollen  mushrooms  ?    Are  not  our 

wide  plains 
Speckled  with  countless  fleeces?     Have 

not  rains 
Green'd  over  April's  lap  ?    No  howling  sad 
Sickens  our  fearful  ewes;  and  we  have  had 
Great  bounty  from  Endymion  our  lord. 
The  earth  is  glad:   the  merry  lark  has 

pour'd  zao 

His  early  song  against  yon  breezy  sky, 
That  spreads  so  clear  o'er  our  solemnity.' 

Thus  ending,  on  the  shrine  he  heap'd  a 

spire 
Of  teeming  sweets,  enkindling  sacred  fire; 
Anon  he  stain'd  the  thick  and  spongy  sod 
With  wine,  in  honour  of  the  shepherd-god. 
Now  while  the  earth  was  drinking  it,  and 

while 
Bay  leaves  were  crackling  in  the  fragrant 

pile. 
And  gummy  frankincense  was  sparkling 

bright 
'Neath  smothering    parsley,  and   a  hazy 

light  330 

Spread    grayly   eastward,  thus  a  chorus 

sang: 

*  O  thou,  whose  mighty  palace  roof  doth 

hang 
From  jagged  trunks,  and  overshadoweth 
Eternal  whispers,  glooms,  the  birth,  life, 

death 
Of  unseen  flowers  in  heavy  peacefulness; 
Who  lov'st  to  see  the  hamadryads  dress 
Their  ruffled  locks  where  meeting  hazels 

darken; 


And  through  whole  solemn  hours  dost  iit^ 

and  hearken 
The  dreary  melody  of  bedded  reeds  — 
In  desolate  places,  where  dank  moiston 

breeds  140 

The  pipy  hemlock  to  strange  overgrowth; 
Bethinking  thee,  how  melancholy  loth 
Thou  wast  to  lose  fair  Syrinx  —  do  tfaos 

now. 
By  thy  love's  milky  brow ! 
By  all  the  trembling  mazes  that  she  ran. 
Hear  us,  great  Fan  ! 

'  O  thou,  for  whose  soul-soothing  ^pdeti 

turtles 
Fassion  their  voices  cooingly  'mong  myrtles, 
What  time  thou  wanderest  at  eventide 
Through  sunny  meadows,  that  outakirt  the 

side  ajo 

Of  thine  enmossed  realms:  O  thou,  to  whom 
Broad-leaved  fig-trees  even  now  foredooai 
Their  ripen'd  fruitage;  yellow-girted  bees 
Their  golden  honeycombs;  our  village  lets 
Their  fairest  blossom'd  beans  and  poppied 

com; 
The  chuckling  linnet  its  five  young  xaaX 
To  sing  for  thee;  low-creeping  s( 
Their  summer  coolness;  pent-up  battel  flies 
Their  freckled  wings;  yea,  the  fresh-bod* 

ding  year 
All  its  completions  —  be  quickly  near,    s6o 
By  every  wind  that  nods  the  mountain  pinsi 
O  forester  divine ! 

*Thou,  to  whom  every  faun  and  satyr 

flies 
For  willing  service;  whether  to  surprise 
The  squatted  hare  while  in  half-sleeping 

fit; 
Or  upward  ragged  precipices  flit 
To  save  poor  lambkins  from  the  eagle's 

maw; 
Or  by  mysterious  enticement  draw 
Bewilder'd  shepherds  to  their  path  again; 
Or  to  tread  breathless  round  the  frothy 

main,  sto 

And  gather  up  all  fancifullest  shells 
For  thee  to  tumble  into  Naiads'  oelb, 


BOOK  FIRST 


53 


Aid,  beiii^  hidden^  langh  at  their  oat-peep- 

Or  to  del%lit  thee  with  fimtastio  leaping, 
Tb  while  they  pelt  each  other  on  the 


Witk  nheij  oak-apples,  and  fir-cones 


%  ill  the  eehoes  that  about  thee  ring, 
Bmi  m,  O  satyr  king  I 

*0  Hearkener   to    the    load -clapping 


WloleeYer  and  anon  to  his  shorn  peers    aSo 
A  nm  goes  bleating:  Winder  of  the  horn, 
WWs  snouted  wild-boars  routing  tender 


Aspr  our  huntsman:  Breather  round  our 

fsrmsy 
To  keep  off  mildews,   and   all   weather 

harms: 
Sbenge  ministrant  of  undescribed  sounds, 
Hit  come  a-swooning  over  hollow  grounds, 
iid  wittier  drearily  on  barren  moors: 
l^iid  opener  of  the  mysterious  doors 
fariiBg  to  nniversal  knowledge  —  see, 
Gnst  soo  of  Diyope,  390 

Us  many  that  are  come  to  pay  their  vo¥r8 
With  leares  about  their  bro¥r8  ! 

'Be  still  the  unimaginable  lodge 
Fsr  aoliftaiy  thinkings;  such  as  dodge 
CwBSptiOP  to  the  very  bourne  of  hearen, 
Iheo  leaTe  the  naked  brain:   be  still  the 

leaTen, 
That  sfneading  in  this  dull  and  clodded 

earth 
Givee  it  a  touch  ethereal  —  a  new  birth: 
Be  still  a  symbol  of  immensity; 
A  firmament  reflected  in  a  sea;  soo 

Aa  element  filling  the  space  between; 
Aa  mknown — but  no  more:  we  humbly 


Wttk  uplift  hands  our  foreheads,  lowly 

bencBngy 
Aad  giving  out  a  shout  most  heaven-rend- 

Ceajore  thee  to  reoeiTe  our  humble  Fean, 
Upoa  thy  Mount  Lyoean  ! ' 


Even  while  they  brought  the  burden  to  a 

close, 
A  shout  from  the  whole  multitude  arose. 
That  lingered  in  the  air  like  dying  rolls 
Of  abrupt  thunder,  when  Ionian  shoals   310 
Of  dolphins  bob  their  noses  through  the 

brine. 
Meantime,  on  shady  levels,  mossy  fine. 
Young  companies  nimbly  began  dancing 
To  the  swift  treble  pipe,  and  humming 

string. 
Aye,  those  fair  living  forms  swam  heavenly 
To  tunes  forgotten  —  out  of  memory: 
Fair  creatures  I    whose  young   children's 

children  bred 
Thermopylffi  its  heroes — not  yet  dead. 
But  in  old  marbles  ever  beautif uL 
High  genitors,  unconscious  did  they  cull  330 
Time's  sweet  first-fruits  —  they  danced  to 

weariness. 
And  then  in  quiet  circles  did  they  press 
The  hillock  turf,  and  caught  the  latter  end 
Of  some  strange  history,  potent  to  send 
A  young  mind  from  its  bodily  tenement. 
Or  they  might  watch  the  quoit-pitchers, 

intent 
On  either  side;  pitying  the  sad  death 
Of  Hyacinthus,  when  the  cruel  breath 
Of  Zephyr  slew  him,  —  Zephyr  penitent. 
Who  now,  ere  Phcsbus  mounts  the  firma- 
ment, 330 
Fondles  the  flower  amid  the  sobbing  rain. 
The  archers  too,  upon  a  wider  plain. 
Beside  the  feathery  whizzing  of  the  shaft. 
And  the  dull  twanging  bovrstring,  and  the 

raft 
Branch  down  sweeping  from  a  tall  ash  top, 
Call'd  up  a  thousand  thoughts  to  envelope 
Those  who  would  watch.     Perhaps,  the 

trembling  knee 
And  frantic  gape  of  lonely  Niobe, 
Poor,  lonely  Niobe  I  when  her  lovely  young 
Were  dead  and  gone,  and  her  caressing 

tongue  340 

Lay  a  lost  thing  upon  her  paly  lip, 
And  very,  very  deadliness  did  nip 
Her  motherly  cheeks.    Aroused  from  this 

sad  mood 


54 


ENDYMION 


By  one,  who  at  a  distance  loud  halloo'd, 
Uplifting  his  strong  bow  into  the  air, 
Many  might  after  brighter  visions  stare: 
After  the  Argonauts,  in  blind  amaze 
Tossing  about  on  Neptune's  restless  ways. 
Until,  from  the  horizon's  vaulted  side. 
There  shot  a  golden  splendour  far  and 

wide,  350 

Spangling  those  million  poutings  of  the 

brine 
With  quivering  ore:  'twas  even  an  awful 

shine 
From  the  exaltation  of  Apollo's  bow; 
A  heavenly  beacon  in  their  dreary  woe. 
Who  thus  were  ripe  for  high  contemplating, 
Might  turn  their  steps  towards  the  sober 

ring 
Where  sat  Endymion  and  the  aged  priest 
'Mong  shepherds  gone  in  eld,  whose  looks 

increased 
The  silvery  setting  of  their  mortal  star. 
There  they  discoursed  upon    the   fragile 

bar  360 

That  keeps  us  from  our  homes  ethereal; 
And  what  our  duties  there:  to  nightly  call 
Vesper,  the  beauty-crest  of  sununer  wea- 
ther; 
To  summon  all  the  downiest  clouds  together 
For  the  sun's  purple  couch;  to  emulate 
In  minist'ring  the  potent  rule  of  fate 
With  speed  of  fire-tail'd  exhalations; 
To  tint  her  pallid  cheek  with  bloom,  who 

cons 
Sweet  poesy  by  moonlight:  besides  these, 
A  world  of  other  unguess'd  offices.  370 

Anon  they  wander'd,  by  divine  converse, 
Into  Elysium ;  vying  to  rehearse 
Each  one  his  own  anticipated  bliss. 
One  felt  heart-certain  that  he  could  not 

miss 
His  quick-gone  love,  among  fair  blossom'd 

boughs. 
Where  every  zephyr-sigh  pouts,  and  endows 
Her  lips  with  music  for  the  welcoming. 
Another  wish'd,  'mid  that  eternal  spring. 
To  meet  his  rosy  child,  with  feathery  sails. 
Sweeping,  eye-earnestly,  through  almond 

vales:  380 


Who,  suddenly,  should  stoop  thzoiig^  the 

smooth  wind, 
And  with  the  balmiest  leaves  his  temples 

bind; 
And,  ever  after,  through  those  regions  be 
His  messenger,  his  little  Mercury. 
Some  were  athirst  in  soul  to  see  again 
Their  fellow-huntsmen  o'er  the  wide  dumw 

paign 
In  times  long  past;  to  sit  with  them,  and 

talk 
Of  all  the  chances  in  their  earthly  walk; 
Comparing,  joyfully,  their  plenteous  stofee 
Of  happiness,  to  when  upon  the  moors,  39^ 
Benighted,  close  they  huddled  from  the 

cold. 
And  shared  their  famish'd  scrips.    Thnt- 

all  out-told 
Their  fond  imaginations,  —  saving  him 
Whose  eyelids  curtain'd  up  their  jeweb- 

dim, 
Endymion:  yet  hourly  had  he  striven 
To  hide  the  cankering  venom,  that  htA 

riven 
His  fainting  recollections.     Now  indeed 
His  senses  had  swoon'd  off:  he  did  not  heed 
The  sudden  silence,  or  the  whispers  low, 
Or  the  old  eyes  dissolving  at  his  woe,     400 
Or  anxious  calls,  or  close  of  trembling 

palms. 
Or  maiden's  sigh,  that  grief  itself  embalms: 
But  in  the  self-same  fixed  trance  he  kept. 
Like  one  who  on  the  earth  had  never  stept. 
Aye,  even  as  dead-still  as  a  marble  man, 
Frozen  in  that  old  tale  Arabian. 

Who  whispers  him    so    pantingly  and 

close? 
Peona,  his  sweet  sister:  of  all  those, 
His  friends,  the  dearest.     Hushing  mgOB 

she  made. 
And   breathed  a  sister's  sorrow  to    per* 

suade  4*^ 

A  yielding  up,  a  cradling  on  her  care. 
Her  eloquence  did  breathe  away  the  onite: 
She  led  him,  like  some  midnight  spirit  none 
Of  happy  changes  in  emphatic  dreams, 
Along  a  path  between  two  little  streams,-* 


BOOK  FIRST 


55 


Gvidng  his  forehead,  with  her  round 
elbow, 

fnm  low-growo  brmaches,  and  his  foot- 
steps slow 

fWitombling  over  stamps  and  hillocks 
nDall; 

Uitfl  tbej  eame  to  where  these  streamlets 

With  mingled  bubblings  and  a  gentle 
mshy  420 

Iito  t  riTer,  clear,  brimfal,  and  flush 
Wkk  aystal  mocking  of   the  trees  and 

Afittle  shallop,  floating  there  hard  by, 
BsBted  its  beak  over  the  fringed  bank; 
Aid  1000  it  lightl J  dipt,  and  rose,  and  sank, 
Aid  dipt  again,  with  the  young  couple's 

weight,— 
Btott  guiding,  through  the  water  straight, 
Ttfftrds  a  bowery  island  opposite; 
WUefa  gaining  presently,  she  steered  light 
Iit0  s  ahady,  fresh,  and  ripply  cove,       430 
^hat  nested  was  an  arbour,  overwove 
Bf  Btny  a  summer's  silent  fingering; 
Towkose  cool  bosom  she  was  used  to  bring 
Hb  playmates,  with  their  needle  broid- 
ery. 
Aid  minstrel  memories  of  times  gone  by. 


So  ahe  was  gently  glad  to  see  him  laid 
Tider  her  favourite  bower's  quiet  shade, 
0^  her  own  oooch,  new  made  of  flower 


Bried  carefully  <m  the  cooler  side  of  sheaves 

Whtn   last   the  sun  his  autunm  tresses 

shook,  440 

lad  the  tann'd  harvesters  rich  armfuls 

todc 
Sotm  was  he  quieted  to  slumbrous  rest: 
Bit,  ese  it  crept  upon  him,  he  had  prest 
I's  busy  hand  against  his  lips, 
slill,  apsleeping,  held  her  finger-tips 
pressure.    And  as  a  willow  keeps 
wateh  over  the  stream  that  creeps 
by  it,  so  the  quiet  maid 
Brii  hu  in  peace:  so  that  a  whispering 
hkida 

A  vailfiil  gnat,  a  bee  bustling  450 


Down  in  the  bluebells,  or  a  wren  light 

rustling 
Among  sere  leaves  and  twig^,  might  all  be 

heard. 

O  magic  sleep  !  O  comfortable  bird. 
That  broodest  o'er  the  troubled  sea  of  the' 

mind 
Till  it  is  hush'd  and  smooth  !  O  unconfined 
Restraint  I  imprison'd  liberty  !  great  key 
To  golden  palaces,  strange  minstrelsy, 
Fountains  grotesque,  new  trees,  bespangled 

caves, 
Echoing  grottoes,  full  of  tumbling  waves 
And    moonlight;    aye,   to    all    the    mazy 

world  460 

Of  silvery  enchantment !  —  who,  upf url'd 
Beneath  thy  drowsy  wing  a  triple  hour, 
But  renovates  and  lives? — Thus,  in  the 

bower, 
Endymion  was  calm'd  to  life  again. 
Opening  his  eyelids  with  a  healthier  brain. 
He  said:  'I  feel  this  thine  endearing  love 
All  through  my  bosom:  thou  art  as  a  dove 
Trembling    its   closed    eyes  and    sleeked 

wings 
About  me;  and  the  pearliest  dew  not  brings 
Such  morning  incense  from  the  fields  of 

May,  470 

As  do  those  brighter  drops  that  twinkling 

stray 
From  those  kind  eyes,  —  the  very  home  and 

haunt 
Of  sisterly  affection.     Can  I  want 
Aught  else,  aught  nearer  heaven,  than  such 

tears? 
Yet  dry  them  up,  in  bidding  hence  all  fears 
That,  any  longer,  I  will  pass  my  days 
Alone  and  sad.    No,  I  will  once  more  raise 
My  voice  upon  the  mountain-heights;  once 

more 
Make  my  horn  parley  from  their  foreheads 

hoar: 
Again  my  trooping  hounds  their  tongues 

shall  loll  480 

Around  the  breathed  boar:  again  111  poll 
The  fair-grown  yew-tree,  for  a  chosen  bow: 
And^  when  the  pleasant  sun  is  getting  low, 


56 


ENDYMION 


Again  I  '11  linger  in  a  sloping  mead 
To  hear  the  speckled  thrushes,  and  see  feed 
Our  idle  sheep.    So  he  thou  cheered,  sweet  I 
And,  if  thy  lute  is  here,  softly  intreat 
My  soul  to  keep  in  its  resolved  course.' 

Hereat  Peona,  in  their  silver  source, 
Shut  her  pure  sorrow-drops  with  glad  ex- 
claim, 490 
And  took  a  lute,  from  which  there  pulsing 

came 
A  lively  prelude,  fashioning  the  way 
In  which  her  voice  should  wander.     T  was 

a  lay 
More  subtle  cadenced,  more  forest  wild 
Than  Dryope's  lone  lulling  of  her  child; 
And  nothing  since  has  floated  in  the  air 
JSo  mournful  strange.    Surely  some  influ- 
ence rare 
Went,  spiritual,  through  the  damsel's  hand; 
For  still,  with  Delphic  emphasis,  shespann'd 
The  quick  invisible  strings,  even  though 
she  saw  500 

Endymion's  spirit  melt  away  and  thaw 
Before  the  deep  intoxication. 
But  soon  she  came,  with  sudden  burst,  upon 
Her  self-possession  —  swung  the  lute  aside. 
And  earnestly  said:  *  Brother,  't  is  vain  to 

hide 
'That  thou  dost  know  of  things  mysterious. 
Immortal,  starry;  such  alone  could  thus 
Weigh  down  thy  nature.    Hast  thou  sinn'd 

in  aught 
•Offensive  to  the  heavenly  powers  ?    Caught 
A  Paphian  dove  upon  a  message  sent  ?    510 
Thy  deathful  bow  against  some  deer-herd 

bent. 
Sacred  to  Dian  ?    Haply,  thou  hast  seen 
Her  naked  limbs  among  the  alders  green; 
And  that,  alas  I  is  death.    No,  I  can  trace 
Something  more  high  perplexing  in  thy 
face!' 

Endymion  look'd  at  her,  and  press'd  her 

hand, 
And  said,  '  Art  thou  so  pale^  who  wast  bo 

bland 
And  merry  in  our  meadows  ?    How  is  this  ? 


Tell  me  thine  ailment:  tell  me  all  amiss  I  — 
Ah  I  thou  hast  been  unhappy  at  the  change 
Wrought  suddenly  in  me.    What  indeed 
more  strange  ?  531 

Or  more  complete  to  overwhelm  surmise  ? 
Ambition  is  no  sluggard:  't  is  no  prize, 
That  toiling  years  would  put  within  my 

graspi 
That  I  have  sigh'd  for:  with  so  deadly  gasp 
No  man  e'er  panted  for  a  mortal  love. 
So  all  have  set  my  heavier  grief  above 
These  things  which  happen.    Rightly  have 

they  done: 
I,  who  still  saw  the  horizontal  sun 
Heave  his  broad  shoulder  o'er  the  edge  of 

the  world,  530 

Out-facing  Lucifer,  and  then  had  hurl'd 
My  spear  aloft,  as  signal  for  the  chase  — 
I,  who,  for  very  sport  of  heart,   would 

race 
With  my  own  steed  from  Araby;  pluck 

down 
A  vulture  from  his  towery  perching;  frown 
A  lion  into  growling,  loth  retire  — 
To  lose,  at  once,  all  my  toil-breeding  fire, 
And  sink  thus  low !  but  I  will  ease  my 

breast 
Of  secret  grief,  here  in  this  bowery  nest. 

*  This  river  does  not  see  the  naked  sky, 
Till  it  begins  to  progress  silverly  541 

Around  the  western  border  of  the  wood. 
Whence,  from  a  certain  spot,  its  winding 

flood 
Seems  at  the  distance  like  a  crescent  moon: 
And  in  that  nook,  the  very  pride  of  June, 
Had  I  been  used  to  pass  my  weary  eves; 
The  rather  for  the  sun  unwilling  leaves 
So  dear  a  picture  of  his  sovereign  power. 
And  I  could  witness  his  most  kingly  hoar, 
When  he  doth  tighten  up  the  golden  reins. 
And  paces  leisurely  down  amber  plains  55  c 
His  snorting  four.    Now  when  his  chariot 

last 
Its  beams  against  the  zodiao-lion  cast. 
There  blossom'd  suddenly  a  magic  bed 
Of  sacred  ditamy,  and  poppies  red: 
At  which  I  wondered  greatly,  knowing  well 


BOOK  FIRST 


57 


Th&t  bat  one  night  had  wrought  this  flow- 
ery spell; 
And,  sitting  down  close  by,  began  to  muse 
What  it  might  mean.     Perhaps,  thought  I, 

Morpheus, 
In  passing  here,  his  owlet  pinions  shook; 
Or,  it  may  be,  ere  matron  Night  uptook  561 
Her  ebon  urn,  young  Mercury,  by  stealth. 
Had  dipt  his  rod  in  it:  such  garland  wealth 
Came  not  by  common  growth.    Thus  on  I 

thought. 
Until  my  head  was  dizzy  and  distraught. 
Moreover,   through  the    dancing  poppies 

stole 
A  breeze,  most  softly  lulling  to  my  soul; 
And  shaping  visions  all  about  my  sight 
Of  colours,  wings,  and  bursts  of  spangly 

Kght; 
The  which    became    more    strange,    and 

strange,  and  dim,  S7o 

And  then  were  gulFd  in  a  tumultuous  swim : 
And  then  I  fell  asleep.    Ah,  can  I  tell 
I'he  enchantment  that  afterwards  befell  ? 
Yet  it  was  but  a  dream:  yet  such  a  dream 
That  never  tongue,  although  it  overteem 
^th  mellow    utterance,   like    a    cavern 

spring, 
^Wd  figure  out  and  to  conception  bring 
^  I  beheld  and  felt.    Methought  I  lay 
Witehing  the  zenith,  where  the  milky  way 
Among  the  stars  in  virgin  splendour  pours; 
'^  travelling  my  eye,  until  the  doors    581 
^  heaven  appeared  to  open  for  my  flight, 
I  became  loth  and  fearful  to  alight 
'vom  such  high  soaring  by  a  downward 

glance  : 
^  kept  me  steadfast  in  that  airy  trance, 
^P'cading  imaginary  pinions  wide. 
^^Q,  presently,  the  stars  began  to  glide. 
And  faint  away,  before  my  eager  view: 
At  which  I  sigh'd  that  I  could  not  pursue, 
And  dropt  my  vision  to  the  horizon's  verge; 
A&d  lo  f    from    opening    clouds,    I    saw 

emerge  591 

■"*«  loveliest  moon,  that  ever  silver'd  o'er 
A  shell  for  Neptune's  goblet ;    she    did 

soar 
°o  passionately  bright,  my  dazzled  soul 


Commingling  with  her  argent  spheres  did 
roll 

Through  clear  and  cloudy,  even  when  she 
went 

At  last  into  a  dark  and  vapoury  tent  — 

Whereat,  methought,  the  lidless-eyed  train 

Of  planets  all  were  in  the  blue  again. 

To  commune  with  those  orbs,  once  more  I 
raised  600 

My  sight  right  upward:  but  it  was  quite 
dazed 

By  a  bright  something,  sailing  down  apace. 

Making  me  quickly  veil  my  eyes  and  face: 

Again  I  look'd,  and,  O  ye  deities, 

Who  from  Olympus  watch  our  destinies  ! 

Whence  that  completed  form  of  all  com- 
pleteness ? 

Whence  came  that  high  perfection  of  all 
sweetness  ? 

Speak,  stubborn  earth,  and  tell  me  where, 
O  where 

Hast  thou  a  symbol  of  her  golden  hair  ? 

Not  oat-sheaves  drooping  in  the  western 
sun;  610 

Not  —  thy  soft  hand,  fair  sister  !  let  me 
shun 

Such  f oUying  before  thee  —  yet  she  had. 

Indeed,  locks  bright  enough  to  make  me 
mad; 

And  they  were  simply  gordian'd  up  and 
braided. 

Leaving,  in  naked  comeliness,  unshaded. 

Her  pearl  round  ears,  white  neck,  and 
orbed  brow  ; 

The  which  were  blended  in,  I  know  not 
how. 

With  such  a  paradise  of  lips  and  eyes. 

Blush-tinted  cheeks,  half  smiles,  and  faint- 
est sighs. 

That,  when  I  think  thereon,  my  spirit 
clings  620 

And  plays  about  its  fancy,  till  the  stings 

Of  human  neighbourhood  envenom  all. 

Unto  what  awful  power  shall  I  call  ? 

To  what  high  fane  ?  —  Ah  I  see  her  hover- 
ing feet, 

More  bluely  vein'd,  more  soft,  more  whitely 
sweet 


58 


ENDYMION 


Than  those  of  sea-bom  Venus,  when  she 

rose 
From  out  her  cradle  shell.    The  wind  out- 
blows 
Her  scarf  into  a  fluttering  pavilion ; 
'T  is  blue,  and  over-spangled  with  a  million 
Of  little  eyes,  as  though  thou  wert  to  shed. 
Over  the  darkest,  lushest  bluebell  bed,    631 
Handfuls  of    daisies.'  —  *Endjmion,  how 

strange  I 
Dream  within  dream  1 '  —  *  She  took  an 

airy  range. 
And  then,  towards  me,  like  a  very  maid. 
Came  blushing,  waning,  willing,  and  afraid. 
And  press'd  me  by  the  hand:  Ah  I  't  was 

too  much; 
Methought  I  fainted  at  the  charmed  touch, 
Yet  held  my  recollection,  even  as  one 
Who  dives  three  fathoms  where  the  waters 

run 
Gurgling  in  beds  of  coral:  for  anon,        640 
I  felt  upmounted  in  that  region 
Where  falling  stars  dart  their  artillery  forth, 
And  eagles  struggle  with  the    buffeting 

north 
That  balances  the  heavy  meteor-stone;  — 
Felt  too,  I  was  not  fearful,  nor  alone. 
But  lapp'd  and  lull'd  along  the  dangerous 

sky. 
Soon,  as  it  seem'd,  we  left  our  journeying 

high. 
And    straightway    into    frightful    eddies 

swoop'd; 
Such  as  ay  muster  where  gray  time  has 

scoop'd 
Huge  dens  and  caverns  in  a  mountain's 

side :  650 

There  hollow  sounds  aroused  me,  and  I 

sigh'd 
To  faint  once  more  by  looking  on  my  bliss  — 
I  was  distracted ;  madly  did  I  kiss 
The  wooing  arms  which  held  me,  and  did 

give 
My  eyes  at  once  to  death  :  but 't  was  to  live, 
To  take  in  draughts  of  life  from  the  gold 

fount 
Of  kind  and  passionate  looks;  to  count, 

and  count 


The  moments,  by  some  greedy  help  that 

seem'd 
A  second  self,  that  each  might  be  redeemed 
And  plunder'd   of    its    load    of    blessed- 
ness. 660 
Ah,  desperate  mortal  I   I  ev'n  dared  to  press 
Her  very  cheek  against  my  crowned  lip. 
And,  at  that  moment,  felt  my  body  dip 
Into  a  warmer  air:  a  moment  more. 
Our  feet  were  soft  in  flowers.    There  was 

store 
Of  newest  joys  upon  that  alp.     Sometimes 
A  scent  of  violets,  and  blossoming  limes, 
Loiter'd  around  us;  then  of  honey  cells. 
Made  delicate  from  all  white-flower  bells; 
And  once,  above  the  edges  of  our  nest,    670 
An  arch  face  peep'd,  —  an    Oread  as  I 
guess'd. 

*  Why  did  I  dream  that  sleep  o'erpower'd 

me 
In  midst  of  all  this  heaven  ?    Why  not  see. 
Far  off,  the  shadows  of  his  pinions  dark. 
And  stare  them  from  me  ?    But  no,  like  a 

spark 
That  needs  must  die,  although  its  little 

beam 
Reflects  upon  a  diamond,  my  sweet  dream 
Fell  into  nothing  —  into  stupid  sleep. 
And  so  it  was,  until  a  gentle  creep, 
A    careful    moving    caught    my    waking 

ears,  680 

And  up  I  started:  Ah  !  my  sighs,  my  tears. 
My  clenched  hands;  —  for  lo  !  the  poppies 

hung 
Dew-dabbled  on  their  stalks,  the  ouzel  sung 
A  heavy  ditty,  and  the  sullen  day 
Had  chidden  herald  Hesperus  away, 
With  leaden  looks:  the  solitary  breeze 
Bluster'd,  and  slept,  and  its  wild  self  did 

tease 
With  wayward  melancholy;  and  I  thought, 
Mark  me,  Peona  1  that  sometimes  it  brought 
Faint  fare -thee -wells,  and  sigh -shrilled 

adieus !  —  690 

Away  I  wander'd  —  all  the  pleasant  hues 
Of  heaven  and  earth  had  faded:  deepest 

shades 


i 


BOOK  FIRST 


59 


Were  deepest  dungeons;  heaths  and  sunny 

glades 
Weie  full  of  pestilent  light;  our  taintless 

riUs 
Seem'd  sooty,  and  o'erspread  with  uptum'd 

gills 
Of  dying  fish;  the  yermeil  rose  had  blown 
In  frightful  scarlet,  and  its  thorns  outgrown 
Like  spiked  aloe.     If  an  innocent  bird 
Before  my  heedless  footsteps  stirr'd,  and 

stirr'd 
In  little  journeys,  I  beheld  in  it  700 

A  disguised  demon,  missioned  to  knit 
My  soul  with  under  darkness;  to  entice 
My  stumblings  down  some  monstrous  pre- 
cipice: 
Therefore  I  eager  followed,  and  did  curse 
The    disappointment.      Time,    that    ag^d 

nurse, 
Rock'd  me  to  patience.     Now,  thank  gentle 

heaven  I 
These  things,  with  all  their  comfortings, 

are  given 
To  my  down-sunken  hours,  and  with  thee, 
Sweet  sister,  help  to  stem  the  ebbing  sea 
Of  weary  life.' 

Thus  ended  he,  and  both 
Sat  silent:  for  the  maid  was  very  loth     712 
To  answer;    feeling   well    that    breathed 

words 
Would  all  be  lost,  unheard,  and  vain  as 

swords 
Against  the  enchased  crocodile,  or  leaps 
Of  grasshoppers    against  the   sun.      She 

weeps. 
And  wonders;  struggles  to  devise  some 

blame; 
To  put  on  such  a  look  as  would  say.  Shame 
On  this  poor  weakness!  but,  for  all  her 

strife, 
She  could  as  soon  have  crush'd  away  the 

life 
From  a  sick  dove.    At  length,  to  break  the 

pause,  720 

She  said  with  trembling  chance:  'Is  this 

the  cause  ? 
This  all  ?    Yet  it  is  strange,  and  sad,  alas  f 


That  one  who  through  this  middle  earth 

should  pass 
Most  like  a  sojourning  demi-god,  and  leave 
His  name  upon   the    harp-string,  should 

achieve 
No  higher  bard  than  simple  maidenhood. 
Singing  alone,  and  fearfully,  —  how  the 

blood 
Left  his  young  cheek;  and  how  he  used  to 

stray 
He  knew  not  where;  and  how  he  would 

say,  nay. 
If  any  said  'twas  love:  and  yet  'twas 

love;  730 

What  could  it  be  but  love  ?    How  a  ring- 
dove 
Let  fall  a  sprig  of  yew-tree  in  his  path; 
And  how  he  died:  and  then,  that  love  doth 

scathe 
The  gentle  heart,  as  northern  blasts  do 

roses; 
And  then  the  ballad  of  his  sad  life  closes 
With  sighs,  and  an  alas  I  —  Endymion  I 
Be  rather  in  the  trumpet's  mouthy  —  anon 
Among  the  winds  at  large  —  that  all  may 

hearken  f 
Although,    before    the    crystal    heavens 

darken, 
I  watch  and  dote  upon  the  silver  lakes    740 
Pictured  in  western  cloudiness,  that  takes 
The  semblance  of  gold  rocks  and  bright 

gold  sands, 
Islands,    and    creeks,  and    amber-fretted 

strands 
With  horses  prancing  o'er  them,  palaces 
And  towers  of  amethyst,  —  would  I  so  tease 
My  pleasant  days,  because  I  could  not 

mount 
Into  those  regions  ?    The  Morphean  fount 
Of  that  fine  element  that  visions,  dreams. 
And  fitful  whims  of  sleep  are  made  of, 

streams 
Into  its  airy  channels  with  so  subtle,       750 
So  thin  a  breathing,  not  the  spider's  shuttle. 
Circled  a  million  times  within  the  space 
Of  a  swallow^s  nest-door,  could  delay  a 

trace, 
A  tinting  of  its  quality:  how  light 


6o 


ENDYMION 


Mast  dreams  themselves  be;  seeing  they  're 

more  slight 
Than  the  mere   nothing   that  engenders 

them  1 
Then  wherefore  sully  the  entrusted  gem 
Of  high  and  noble  life  with  thoughts  so 

sick? 
Why  pierce  high-fronted   honour  to  the 

quick 
For  nothing  but  a  dream?'    Hereat  the 

youth  760 

Look'd  up:  a  conflicting  of  shame  and  ruth 
Was  in  his  plaited  brow :  yet  hb  eyelids 
Widen'd  a  little,  as  when  Zephyr  bids 
A  little  breeze  to  creep  between  the  fans 
Of  careless  butterflies:  amid  his  pains 
He  seem'd  to  taste  a  drop  of  manna-dew, 
Full  palatable;  and  a  colour  grew 
Upon  his  cheek,  while  thus  he  lifef  ul  spake. 

*  Peona !  ever  have  I  long'd  to  slake 
My  thirst  for  the  world's  praises:  nothing 
base,  770 

No  merely  slumberous    phantasm,  could 

unlace 
The  stubborn  canvas  for  my  voyage  pre- 
pared— 
Though  now  'tis  tatter' d;  leaving  my  bark 

bared 
And  sullenly  drifting:  yet  my  higher  hope 
Is  of  too  wide,  too  rainbow-large  a  scope, 
To  fret  at  myriads  of  earthly  wrecks. 
Wherein  lies  happiness?    In  that  which 

becks 
Our  ready  minds  to  fellowship  divine, 
A  fellowship  with  essence;  till  we  shine. 
Full  alchemized,  and  free  of  space.     Be- 
hold 780 
The  clear  religion  of  heaven  !    Fold 
A  rose  leaf  round  thy  finger's  tapemess, 
And  soothe  thy  lips:  hist,  when  the  airy 

stress 
Of  music's  kiss  impregnates  the  free  winds. 
And  with  a  sympathetic  touch  unbinds 
jSiolian  magic  from  their  lucid  wombs: 
Then  old  songs  waken    from    endouded 

tombs; 
Old  ditties  sigh  above  their  father's  grave; 


Ghosts  of  melodious  prophesyings  rave 
Round    every  spot    where    trod  Apollo's 

foot;  790 

Bronze  clarions  awake,  and  faintly  bruit, 
Where  long  ago  a  giant  battle  was; 
And,  from  the  turf,  a  lullaby  doth  pass 
In  every  place  where  infant  Orpheus  slept. 
Feel  we  these  things  ?  —  that  moment  have 

we  stept 
Into  a  sort  of  oneness,  and  our  state 
Is  like  a  floating  spirit's.     But  there  are 
Richer  entanglements,  enthralments  far 
More  self-destroying,  leading,  by  degrees^ 
To  the  chief  intensity:  the  crown  of  these 
Is  made  of  love  and  friendship,  and  aita 

high  8of 

Upon  the  forehead  of  humanity. 
All  its  more  ponderous  and  bulky  wortM 
Is  friendship,  whence  there  ever  issues  forfli 
A  steady  splendour;  but  at  the  tip-top, 
There  hangs  by  unseen  film,  an  orbed  drop 
Of  light,  and  that  is  love:  its  influence 
Thrown  in  our  eyes  genders  a  novel  sense. 
At  which  we  start  and  fret:  till  in  the  end. 
Melting  into  its  radiance,  we  blend,         810 
Mingle,  and  so  become  a  part  of  it,  — 
Nor  with  aught  else  can  our  souls  interknil 
So  wingedly:  when  we  combine  therewith. 
Life's  self  is  nourish'd  by  its  proper  pith. 
And  we  are  nurtured  like  a  pelican  brood. 
Aye,  so  delicious  is  the  unsating  food, 
That  men,  who  might  have  tower'd  in  the 

van 
Of  all  the  congregated  world,  to  fan 
And  winnow  from  the  coming  step  of  time 
All  chaff  of  custom,  wipe  away  all  slime  8m 
Left  by  men-slugs  and  human  serpontiy. 
Have  been  content  to  let  occasion  die. 
Whilst  they  did  sleep  in  love's  Elysium. 
And,  truly,  I  would  rather  be  struck  domb^ 
Than  speak  against  this  ardent  listless-^ 

ness: 
For  I  have  ever  thought  that  it  might  Uess 
The  world  with  benefits  unknowingly; 
As  does  the  nightingale,  up-perched  high. 
And  doister'd  among  cool  and  bonohed 

leaves  —  839 

She  sings  but  to  her  love,  nor  e'er  oooodTM 


BOOK  FIRST 


6x 


How  tiptoe  Night  holds  back  her  dark- 

graj  hood. 
Just  so  may  love,  although  't  is  understood 
The  mere  commingling  of  passionate  breath, 
Produce  more  than  our  searching  witness- 

eth: 
What  I  know  not:  but  who,  of  men,  can 

teU 
That  flowers  would  bloom,  or  that  green 

fruit  would  swell 
To  melting   pulp,  that  fish   would    have 

bright  mail. 
The  earth  its  dower  of  river,  wood,  and 

vale, 
The    meadows    runnels,    runnels    pebble- 
stones, 839 
The  seed  its  harvest,  or  the  lute  its  tones. 
Tones  ravishment,  or  ravishment  its  sweet. 
If  human  souls  did  never  kiss  and  greet  ? 

*  Now,  if  this  earthly  love  has  power  to 

make 
Men's  being  mortal,  immortal;  to  shake 
Ambition  from  their  memories,  and  brim 
Their  measure  of  content;  what   merest 

whim, 
Seems  all  this  poor  endeavour  after  fame. 
To  one,  who  keeps  within  his  steadfast 

aim 
A  love  immortal,  an  immortal  too. 
LfOok  not  so  wilder'd;  for  these  things  are 

true  850 

And  never  can  be  bom  of  atomies 
That  buzz  about  our  slumbers,  like  brain- 
flies, 
Leaving  us  fancy-sick.    No,  no,  I  'm  sure. 
My  restless  spirit  never  could  endure 
To  brood  so  long  upon  one  luxury. 
Unless  it  did,  though  fearfully,  espy 
A  hope  beyond  the  shadow  of  a  dream. 
My  sayings  will  the  less  obscured  seem 
When  I  have  told  thee  how  my  waking 

sight 
Has  made  me  scruple  whether  that  same 

night  860 

Was  pass'd  in  dreaming.     Hearken,  sweet 

Peona! 
Beyond  the  matron-temple  of  Latona, 


Which  we  should  see  but  for  these  dark<f 

ening  boughs. 
Lies  a  deep  hollow,  from  whose  ragged 

brows 
Bushes  and  trees  do  lean  all  round  athwart, 
And  meet  so  nearly,  that  with  wings  out- 

raught, 
And  spreaded  tail,  a  vulture  could  not  glide 
Past  them,  but  he  must  brush  on  every 

side. 
Some  moulder'd  steps  lead  into  this  cool 

cell, 
Far  as  the  slabbed  margin  of  a  well,       870 
Whose  patient  level  peeps  its  crystal  eye 
Right  upward,  through  the  bushes,  to  the 

sky. 
Oft  have  I  brought  thee  flowers,  on  their 

stalks  set 
Like  vestal  primroses,  but  dark  velvet 
Edges  them  round,  and  they  have  golden 

pits: 
'T  was  there  I  got  them,  from  the  gaps  and 

slits 
In  a  mossy  stone,  that  sometimes  was  my 

seat, 
When  all  above  was  faint  with  mid-day 

heat. 
And  there  in  strife  no  burning  thoughts  to 

heed, 
I  'd  bubble  up  the  water  through  a  reed ; 
So  reaching  back  to  boyhood:   make  me 

ships  881 

Of    moulted    feathers,   touchwood,    alder 

chips. 
With  leaves  stuck  in  them;  and  the  Nep- 
tune be 
Of  their  petty  ocean.    Oftener,  heavily. 
When  lovelorn  hours  had  left  me  less  a 

child, 
I  sat  contemplating  the  figures  wild 
Of  o'er-head  clouds  melting  the    mirror 

through. 
Upon  a  day,  while  thus  I  watch'd,  by  flew 
A  cloudy  Cupid,  with  his  bow  and  quiver; 
So  plainly  character'd,  no  breeze  would 

shiver  890 

The  happy  chance:  so  happy,  I  was  fain 
To  follow  it  upon  the  open  plain, 


62 


ENDYMION 


And,  therefore,  was  just  going;  when,  be- 
hold I 

A  wonder,  fair  as  any  I  have  told  — 

The  same  bright  face  I  tasted  in  my  sleep. 

Smiling  in  the  clear  well.    My  heart  did 
leap 

Through  the  cool  depth.  —  It  moved  as  if 
to  flee  — 

I  started  up,  when  lo  I  refreshf ally, 

There  came  upon  my  face,  in  plenteous 
showers. 

Dew-drops,  and  dewy  buds,  and  leaves,  and 
flowers,  900 

Wrapping  all  objects  from  my  smother'd 
sight,  I  f 

Bathing  my  spirit  in  a  new  delight. 

Aye,  such  a  breathless  honey-feel  of  bliss 

Alone  preserved  me  from  the  drear  abyss 

Of  death,  for  the  fair  form  had  gone  again. 
I  Pleasure  is  oft  a  visitant;  but  pain 
I  Clings  cruelly  to  us,  like  the  gnawing  sloth 

On  the  deer's  tender  haunches:  late,  and 
loth, 

'T  is  scared  away  by  slow  returning  plea- 
sure. 

How  sickening,  how  dark  the  dreadful  lei- 


sure 


910 


Of  weary  days,  made  deeper  exquisite, 
By  a  foreknowledge  of  unslumbrous  faigbt ! 
Like  sorrow  came  upon  me,  heavier  still, 
Thau  when  I  wander'd  from  the  poppy 

hill: 
And  a  whole  ag^  of  lingering  moments 

crept 
Sluggishly  by,  ere  more  contentment  swept 
Away  at  once  the  deadly  yellow  spleen. 
Yes,  thrice  have  I  this  fair  enchantment 

seen; 
Once  more  been  tortured  with  renewed  life. 
When  last   the   wintry  gusts  gave    over 

strife  930 

With  the  conquering  sun  of  spring,  and 

left  the  skies 
Warm  and  serene,  but  yet  with  moisten'd 

eyes 
In  pity  of  the  shatter'd  infant  buds,  — 
That  time  thou  didst  adorn,  with  amber 

studs. 


My  hunting  cap,  because  I  laugh'd  and 

smiled, 
Chatted  with  thee,  and  many  days  exiled 
All  torment  from  my  breast;  —  'twas  even 

then. 
Straying  about,  yet  coop'd  up  in  the  den 
Of  helpless  discontent,  —  hurling  my  lance 
From    place  to  place,  and  following    at 

chance,  930 

At  last,  by  }*ap,  through  some  young  trees 

it  struck. 
And,  plashing  among  bedded  pebbles,  stuck 
In  the  middle  of  a  brook,  —  whose  silver 

ramble 
Down  twenty  little  falls  through  reeds  and 

bramble. 
Tracing  along,  it  brought  me  to  a  cave, 
Whence  it  ran  brightly  forth,  and  white 

did  lave 
The    nether  sides  of    mossy  stones    and 

rock, — 
'Mong  which  it  gurgled  blithe  adieus,  to 

mock 
Its  own  sweet  grief  at  parting.     Overhead, 
Hung  a  lush  screen  of  drooping  weeds,  and 

spread  940 

Thick,  as  to  curtain  up  some  wood-nymph's 

home. 
*'  Ah  I  impious  mortal,  whither  do  I  roam  I " 
Said  I,  low-voiced:  "  Ah,  whither  !  'T  is  the 

grot 
Of  Proserpine,  when  Hell,  obscure  and  hot. 
Doth  her  resign;  and  where   her  tender 

hands 
She  dabbles,  on  the  cool  and  sluicy  sands: 
Or  't  is  the  cell  of  Echo,  where  she  sits, 
And  babbles  thorough  silence,  till  her  wits 
Are  gone  in  tender  madness,  and  anon. 
Faints  into  sleep,  with  many  a  dying  tone 
Of  sadness.     O  that  she  would  take  my 

vows,  951 

And  breathe  them  sighingly  among  the 
boughs. 

To  sue  her  gentle  ears  for  whose  fair  head. 

Daily,  I  pluck  sweet  flowerets  from  their 
bed. 

And  weave  them  dyingly  —  send  honey- 
whispers 


BOOK  SECOND 


63 


Sond  every  Ieaf»  that  all  those  gentle 

liipen 
Mmj  iigh  mj  love  unto  her  pitying  ! 
0  charitable  Eeho  !  hear,  and  sing 
lUsdtttytoher!  — tell  her"—  Solstay'd 
Uj  foolish    tongoe,    and    listening,    half 

afraidy  960 

Stood  stupefied  with  my  own  empty  folly, 
Aad  bloshing  for  the  freaks  of  melancholy. 
Sth  tears  were  coming,  whe^I  heard  my 


Moit  fondly  lipp'd,  and  then  these  accents 


«  Eadymion  f  the  cave  is  secreter 

Than  the  isle  of  Delos.    Echo  hence  shall 

stir 
No  sighs  but  sigh-warm  kisses,  or  light 


Of  thy  combing  hand,  the  while  it  travel- 
ling cloys 
And    trembles    through    my  labyrinthine 

hair." 
At  that  oppress'd,   I  hurried    in.  —  Ah  ! 
where  970 

Ave  those  swift  moments?    Whither  are 

thevfled? 
I H  smile  no  more,  Peona;  nor  will  wed 
Sorrow,  the  way  to  death;  but  patiently 
op  against  it:  so  farewell,  sad  sigh; 
eome  instead  demurest  meditation. 
To  occupy  me  whoUy,  and  to  fashion 
My  pilgrimage  for  the  world's  dusky  brink. 
So  aioie  will  I  count  over,  link  by  link, 
My  chain  of  grief:  no  longer  strive  to  find 
A  half-forgetf ulness  in  mountain  wind    9S0 
about  my  ears:  aye,  thou  shalt 


of  sisters,  what  my  life  shall  be; 
What  a  calm  round  of  hours  shall  make 

my  days. 
Ihere  is  a  paly  flame  of  hope  that  plays 
WWm'er  I   look:  but  yet,  111  say  'tis 

naught — 
Aai  here  I  bid  it  die.    Have  not  I  caught, 
Abcady,  a  more  healthy  countenance  ? 
%  this  the  sun  is  setting;  we  may  chance 
Meet  some  of  our  near-dwellers  with  my 


This  said,  he  rose,  faint-smiling  like  a 
star  990 

Through  autumn  mists,  and  took  Peona's 
hand: 

They  stept  into  the  boat,  and  launoh'd  from 
land. 


BOOK   II 

O  SOVEREIGN  power  of  love !  O  grief !  O 

balm  1 
All  records,  saving  thine,  come  cool,  and 

calm. 
And  shadowy,  through  the  mist  of  passed 

years: 
For    others,    good    or    bad,    hatred    and 

tears 
Have  become  indolent;  but  touching  thine, 
One  sigh  doth  echo,  one  poor  sob  doth 

pine, 
One  kiss  brings  honey-dew  from  buried 

days. 
The  woes  of  Troy,  towers  smothering  o'er 

their  blaze, 
Stiff -holden  shields,  far -piercing  spears, 

keen  blades. 
Struggling,  and   blood,  and  shrieks  —  all 

dimly  fades  10 

Into  some  backward  comer  of  the  brain; 
Yet,  in  our  very  souls,  we  feel  amain 
The  close  of  Troilus  and  Cressid  sweet. 
Hence,    pageant    history  1    hence,    gilded 

cheat ! 
Swart  planet  in  the  universe  of  deeds  ! 
Wide   sea,   that  one   continuous  murmur 

breeds 
Along  the  pebbled  shore  of  memory  I 
Many    old    rotten  -  timber'd    boats    there 

be 
Upon  thy  vaporous  bosom,  magnified 
To  goodly  vessels;  many  a  sail  of  pride,  ao 
And  golden-keel'd,  is  left  unlaunch'd  and 

dry. 
But  wherefore  this?    AMiat  care,  though 

owl  did  fly 
About  the  great  Athenian  admiral's  mast  ? 
What  care,  though  striding  Alexander  past 


64 


ENDYMION 


The  Indus  with  his  Macedonian  nnmbers  ? 
Thoagh    old    Ulysses    tortured  from  his 

slumbers 
The  glutted  Cyclops,  what  care? — Juliet 

leaning 
Amid    her  window- flowers,  —  sighing, — 

weaning 
Tenderly  her  fancy  from  its  maiden  snow. 
Doth  more  avail  than  these:    the  silver 

flow  30 

Of  Hero's  tears,  the  swoon  of  Imogen, 
Fair  Pastorella  in  the  bandit's  den. 
Are  things  to  brood  on  with  more  ardency 
Than  the  death-day  of  empires.    Fearfully 
Must  such  conviction  come  upon  his  head, 
Who,  thus  far,  discontent,  has  dared  to 

tread. 
Without  one  muse's  smile,  or  kind  behest. 
The  path  of  love  and  poesy.     But  rest. 
In  chafing  restlessness,  is  yet  more  drear 
Than  to  be  crush'd,  in  striving  to  uprear    40 
Love's  standard  on  the  battlements  of  song. 
So  once  more  days  and  nights  aid  me  along. 
Like  legion'd  soldiers. 

Brain-sick  shepherd-prince. 
What  promise  hast  thou  faithful  guarded 

since 
The  day  of  sacrifice  ?    Or,  have  new  sor- 
rows 
Come  with  the  constant  dawn  upon  thy 

morrows  ? 
Alas  !  't  is  his  old  grief.     For  many  days. 
Has  he  been  wandering  in  uncertain  ways: 
Through  wilderness,  and  woods  of  mossed 

oaks; 
Counting  his  woe-worn  minutes,  by  the 

strokes  50 

Of  the  lone  wood-cutter  ;    and  listening 

still. 
Hour  after  hour,  to  each  lush-leaved  rill. 
Now  he  is  sitting  by  a  shady  spring, 
And  elbow-deep  with  feverous  fingering 
Stems  the  upbursting  cold:  a  wild  rose  tree 
Pavilions  him  in  bloom,  and  he  doth  see 
A  bud  which  snares  his  fancy:  lo  1  but  now 
He  plucks  it,  dips  its  stalk  in  the  water: 

how! 


It  swells,  it  buds,  it  flowers  beneath  hit 

sight; 
And,  in  the  middle,  there  is  softly  pight  60 
A  golden  butterfly;  upon  whose  wings 
There  must  be  surely  character'd  strange 

things. 
For  with  wide  eye  he  wonders,  and  smiles 

oft. 

Lightly  this  little  herald  flew  aloft, 
Follow'd    by    glad    Endymion's    clasped 

hands: 
Onward  it  flies.     From  languor's  sullen 

bands 
His  limbs  are  loosed,  and  eager,  on  he  hiee 
Dazzled  to  trace  it  in  the  sunny  skies. 
It  seem'd  he  flew,  the  way  so  easy  was; 
And  like  a  new-bom  spirit  did  he  pass     70 
Through  the  green  evening  quiet  in  the  son. 
O'er  many  a  heath,  through  many  a  wood* 

land  dun. 
Through  buried  paths,  where  sleepy  twH 

light  dreams 
The  summer  time  away.    One  track  un- 

seams 
A  wooded  cleft,  and,  far  away,  the  blue 
Of  ocean  fades  upon  him;  then,  anew. 
He  sinks  adown  a  solitary  glen. 
Where  there  was  never  sound  of  moctal 

men. 
Saving,  perhaps,  some  snow-light  cadeneee 
Melting  to  silence,  when  upon  the  breexe  80 
Some  holy  bark  let  forth  an  anthem  sweet. 
To  cheer  itself  to  Delphi.     Still  his  feet 
Went  swift  beneath  the   merry -winged 

guide. 
Until  it  reach'd  a  splashing  fountain's  side 
That,  near  a  cavern's    mouth,   for   ever 

pour'd 
Unto  the  temperate  air:  then  high  it  soared. 
And,  downward,  suddenly  began  to  dip, 
As  if,  athirst  with  so  much  toU,  'twould 

sip 
The  crystal  spout-head:  so  it  did,  with 

touch 
Most  delicate,  as  though  afraid  to  smnteh,  90 
Even  with  mealy  gold,  the  waters  clear. 
But,  at  that  very  touch,  to  disappear 


BOOK  SECOND 


6S 


So  fiuuy-quek,  was  strange !    Bewildered, 
Sadjinioii  sought  aroand,  and  shook  each 

bed 
Of  eorert  flowers  in  Tain;  and  then  he  flung 
ifintftlf  along  the   grass.    What  gentle 

tongue. 
What  whisperer,  disturb'd  his  gloomy  rest  ? 
It  was  a  njmph  uprisen  to  the  breast 
In  tlie  fountain's  pebbly  margin,  and  she 

stood 
'Mang   lilies,  like   the    youngest   of    the 
brood.  loo 

To  him  her  dripping  hand  she  softly  kist, 
Aad  anzionsly  began  to  plait  and  twist 
Her    ringlets   round  her  fingers,  saying: 

« Youth ! 
Too  long,  alas,  hast  thou  starved  on  the 

ruth. 
The  bitterness  of  Ioto:  too  long  indeed, 
Seeing  thou  art  so  gentle.    Could  I  weed 
Thy  aonl  of  care,  by  heavens,  I  would  offer 
AH  tbe  bright  riches  of  my  crystal  coffer 
To  Amphitrite;  all  my  dear-eyed  fish, 
Golden,  or  rainbow-sided,  or  purplish,     no 
Tcrmilion  -  tail'd,   or   finn'd   with    silvery 

gauze; 
Tea,  or  my  veined  pebble-floor,  that  draws 
A  virgin  light  to  the  deep ;  my  grotto-sands, 
Tawny  and  gold,  oozed  slowly  from  far 

lands 
By  my  diligent  springs:  my  level  lilies, 

shells. 
My  eharming  rod,  my  potent  river  spells; 
TcB,  every  thing,  even  to  the  pearly  cup 
¥sander  gave  me,  —  for  I  bubbled  up 
To  fainting  creatures  in  a  desert  wild. 
Bit  woe  is  me,  I  am  but  as  a  child  120 

To  gladden  thee;  and  all  I  dare  to  say. 
Is,  that  I  pity  thee;  that  on  this  day 
1  've  been  thy  goide ;  that  thou  must  wander 

far 
1m  other  regions,  past  the  scanty  bar 
To  sBortal  steps,  before  thou  canst  be  ta'en 
ftma  every  wasting  sigh,  from  every  pain, 
lito  the  gentle  bosom  of  thy  love. 
Wby  it  is  thus,  one  knows  in  heaven  above: 
Bat,  a  poor  Naiad,  I  guess  not    Farewell  I 
I  have  a  ditty  for  my  hollow  cell.'  130 


Hereat  she  vanished  from  Endymion's 
gaze. 
Who  brooded  o'er  the  water  in  amaze: 
The  dashing  fount  pour'd  on,  and  where 

its  pool 
Lay,  half  asleep,  in  grass  and  rushes  cool. 
Quick  waterflies  and  g^ats  were  sporting 

still. 
And  fish  were  dimpling,  as  if  good  nor  ill 
Had  fallen  out  that  hour.    The  wanderer. 
Holding  his  forehead,  to  keep  off  the  burr 
Of  smothering  fancies,  patiently  sat  down; 
And,  while  beneath  the  evening's  sleepy 
frown  140 

Glowworms   began   to   trim    their   starry 

lamps, 
Thus  breathed  he  to  himself:  '  Whoso  en- 
camps 
To  take  a  fancied  city  of  delight, 

0  what  a  wretch  is  he  1  and  when  't  is  his. 
After  long  toil  and  travelling,  to  miss 
The  kernel  of  his  hopes,  how  more  than 

vile  : 
Yet,  for  him  there  's  refreshment  even  in 

toil: 
Another  city  doth  he  set  about. 
Free  from  the   smallest  pebble -bead  of 

doubt  149 

That  he  will  seize  on  trickling  honey-combs: 
Alas,  he  finds  them  dry;  and  then  he  foams. 
And  onward  to  another  city  speeds. 
But  this  is  human  life:  the  war,  the  deeds. 
The  disappointment,  the  anxiety. 
Imagination's  struggles,  far  and  nigh, 
All  human;  bearing  in  themselves  this  good. 
That  they  are  still  the  air,  the  subtle  food. 
To  make  us  feel  existence,  and  to  show 
How  quiet  death  is.     Where  soil  is,  men 

grow,  159 

Whether  to  weeds  or  flowers;  but  for  me. 
There  is  no  depth  to  strike  in:  I  can  see 
Naught  earthly  worth  my  compassing;  so 

stand 
Upon  a  misty,  jutting  head  of  laud  — 
Alone  ?     No,  no;  and  by  tbe  Orphean  lute. 
When  mad  Eurydice  is  listening  to  't, 

1  'd  rather  stand  upon  this  misty  peak, 
With  not  a  thing  to  sigh  for,  or  to  seek. 


66 


ENDYMION 


But  the  soft  shadow  of  my  thrice  seen  love, 
Than  be  —  I  care  not  what.    O  meekest 

dove 
Of  heaven  !     O  Cynthia,  ten-times  bright 

and  fair !  170 

From  thy  blue  throne,  now  filling  all  the 

air, 
Glance  but  one  little  beam  of  tempered 

light 
Into  my  bosom,  that  the  dreadful  might 
And  tyranny  of  love  be  somewhat  scared  ! 
Yet  do  not  so,  sweet  queen ;  one  torment 

spared, 
Would  give  a  pang  to  jealous  misery, 
Worse  than  the  torment's  self:  but  rather 

tie 
Larg^  wings  upon  my  shoulders,  and  point 

out 
My  love's  far  dwelling.     Though  the  play- 
ful rout  179 
Of  Cupids  shun  thee,  too  divine  art  thou. 
Too  keen  in  beauty,  for  thy  silver  prow 
Not  to  have  dipp'd  in  love's  most  gentle 

stream. 
O  be  propitious,  nor  severely  deem 
My  madness  impious;  for,  by  all  the  stars 
That  tend  thy  bidding,  I  do  think  the  bars 
That  kept  my  spirit  in  are  burst  —  that  I 
Am  sailing  with  thee  through  the  dizzy 

sky  I 
How  beautiful  thou  art !    The  world  how 

deep! 
How  tremulous-dazzlingly  the  wheels  sweep 
Around  their  axle  1    Then  these  gleaming 

reins,  190 

How  lithe  1     When  this  thy  chariot  attains 
Its  airy  goal,  haply  some  bower  veils 
Those  twilight  eyes  ?    Those  eyes  !  —  my 

spirit  fails  — 
Dear  goddess,  helpl  or  the  wide  gaping 

air 
WUl  gulf  me  —  help  ! '  —    At  this,  with 

madden' d  stare. 
And  lifted  hands,  and  trembling  lips,  he 

stood; 
Like  old   Deucalion  mountain'd  o'er  the 

flood. 
Or  blind  Orion  hungry  for  the  morn. 


And,  but  from  the  deep  cavem  there 

borne 
A  voice,  he  had  been  froze  to  senaelen 

stone;  aoo 

Nor  sigh  of  his,  nor  plaint,  nor  pasaion'd 

moan 
Had  more  been  heard.    Thus  swell'd  it 

forth:  'Descend, 
Young  mountaineer  I  descend  where  alleyi 

bend 
Into  the  sparry  hollows  of  the  world ! 
Oft  hast  thou  seen  bolts  of  the  thunder 

hurl'd 
As  from  thy  threshold;  day  by  day  bast 

been 
A  little  lower  than  the  chilly  sheen 
Of  icy  pinnacles,  and  dipp'dst  thine  arms 
Into  the  deadening  ether  that  still  charms 
Their  marble  being:  now,  as  deep  pn^ 

found 
As  those  are  high,  descend  I     He  ne'er  is 

crown'd  an 

With  immortality,  who  fears  to  follow 
Where  airy  voices  lead:  so  through  the 

hollow. 
The  silent  mysteries  of  earth,  descend ! ' 

He  heard  but  the  last  words,  nor  could 
contend 
One  moment  in  reflectiou:  for  he  fled 
Into  the  fearful  deep,  to  hide  his  head 
From  the  clear  moon,  the  trees,  and  com- 
ing madness. 

'Twas  far  too  strange,  and  wonderful 
for  sadness; 
Sharpening,  by  degrees,  his  appetite         lao 
To  dive  into  the  deepest.    Dark,  nor  light. 
The  region;  nor  bright,  nor  sombre  wholly. 
But  mingled  up;  a  gleaming  melancholy; 
A  dusky  empire  and  its  diadems; 
One  faint  eternal  eventide  of  gems. 
Aye,  millions  sparkled  on  a  vein  of  gold. 
Along  whose  track  the  prince  quick  foot- 
steps told, 
With  all  its  lines  abrupt  and  angular: 
Out-shooting  sometimes,  like  a  meteor-star. 
Through  a  vast  autre;  then  the  metal  woo^ 


BOOK  SECOND 


67 


Like  Yvkan't  nunbow,  with  some  mon- 
stroiu  roof  231 

Curw9B  hngelj:  now,  far  in  the  deep  abyss, 
It  teems  an  angry  lightning,  and  doth  hiss 
Faaey  into  belief:  anon  it  leads 
Tlnoagh  winding  passages,  where  sameness 

breeds 
Vexing  conceptions  of  some  sadden  change; 
Whether  to  silver  grots,  or  giant  range 
Of  sapphire  columns,  or  fantastic  bridge 
Athwart  a  flood  of  crystaL    On  a  ridge 
Xow  ^reth  he,  that  o'er  the  vast  beneath 
Towers  like  an  ocean-cliff,  and  whcDce  he 
seeth  241 

A  hondred  waterfalls,  whose  voices  come 
Bat  as  the  mormuring  sorge.     Chilly  and 

namb 
Hb  bosom  grew,  when  first  he,  far  away, 
Deseried  an  orbed  diamond,  set  to  fray 
Old  Darimess  from  his  throne:  't  was  like 

the  son 
Uprisen  o'er  chaos:  and  with  such  a  stun 
Came  the  amazement,  that,  absorb'd  in  it. 
He  saw  not   fiercer  wonders  —  past  the 

wit 
Of  any  spirit  to  tell,  but  one  of  those      250 
Who,  when  this  planet's  sphering  time  doth 

close 
Will  be  its  high  remembrancers:  who  they  ? 
Ihe  mighty  ones  who  have  made  eternal 

day 
For  Greece  and  £ngland.    While  astonish- 
ment 
With  deep-drawn  sighs  was  quieting,  he 

went 
Iito  a  marUe  gallery,  passing  through 
A  Bumie  temple,  so  complete  and  true 
la  saeied  cnstom,  that  he  well  nigh  f ear'd 
To  maieh  it  inwards;  whence  far  off  ap- 
peared, 
ThRmgfa  a  long  pillar'd  vista,  a  fair  shrine, 
Aad,  jast  beyond,  on  light  tiptoe  divine,  261 
A  qoiTer'd  Dian.     Stepping  awfully, 
Ibt  yoeth    approach'd;   oft   turning  his 

▼eil'd  eye 
Ikmm  ndekmg  aisles,  and  into  niches  old: 
Aai  when,  more  near  against  the  marble 
eold 


He  had  touch'd  his  forehead,  he  began  to 

thread 
All  courts  and  passages,  where  silence  dead. 
Roused  by  his  whispering  footsteps,  mor- 

mur*d  faint: 
And  long  he  traversed  to  and  fro,  to  ac- 
quaint 
Himself  with  every  mystery,  and  awe;    270 
Till,  weary,  he  sat  down  before  the  maw 
Of  a  wide  outlet,  fathomless  and  dim. 
To  wild  uncertainty  and  shadows  g^im. 
There,  when  new  wonders  ceased  to  float 

before, 
And  thoughts  of  self  came  on,  how  crude 

and  sore 
The  journey  homeward  to  habitual  self ! 
A  mad  pursuing  of  the  fog-bom  elf. 
Whose  flitting  lantern,  through  rude  nettle- 
brier, 
Cheats  us  into  a  swamp,  into  a  fire, 
Into  the  bosom  of  a  hated  thing.  aSo 

What  misery  most  drowningly  doth  sing 
In  lone  Endymion's  ear,  now  he  has  raught 
The  goal  of  consciousness?    Ah,  'tis  the 

thought, 
The  deadly  feel  of  solitude:  for  lo  f 
He  cannot  see  the  heavens,  nor  the  flow 
Of  rivers,  nor  hill-flowers  running  wild 
In  pink  and  purple  chequer,  nor,  up-piled. 
The  cloudy  rack  slow  journeying  in  the 

west. 
Like  herded  elephants;  nor  felt,  nor  prest 
Cool  grass,  nor  tasted  the  fresh  slumberous 

air;  290 

But  far  from  such  companionship  to  wear 
An  unknown  time,  surcharged  with  grief, 

away. 
Was  now  his  lot.    And  must  he  patient  stay. 
Tracing  fantastic  figures  with  his  spear  ? 
*  No  I '  exclaim'd  he,  '  why  should  I  tarry 

here?' 
No  !  loudly  echoed  times  innumerable. 
At  which  he  straightway  started,  and  'gan 

tell 
His  paces  back  into  the  temple's  chief; 
Warming  and  glowing  strong  in  the  belief 
Of  help  from  Dian:  so  that  when  again  300 


68 


ENDYMION 


He  caught  her  airy  form,  thus  did  he  plain, 
Moving  more  near  the  while:  *  O  Haunter 

chaste 
Of    river  sides,  and  woods,  and  heathy 

waste, 
Where  with  thy  silver  how  and  arrows  keen 
Art    thou    now    forested?     O    woodland 

Queen, 
What  smoothest  air  thy  smoother  forehead 

woos? 
Where  dost  thou  listen  to  the  wide  halloos 
Of  thy  disparted  nymphs  ?    Through  what 

dark  tree 
Glimmers  thy  crescent  ?   Wheresoe'er  it  be, 
'Tis  in  the  breath  of  heaven:  thou  dost 

taste  310 

Freedom  as  none  can  taste  it,  nor  dost 

waste 
Thy  loveliness  in  dismal  elements; 
But,  finding  in  our  green  earth  sweet  con- 
tents, 
There  livest  blissfully.     Ah,  if  to  thee 
It  feels  Elysian,  how  rich  to  me. 
An  exiled  mortal,  sounds  its  pleasant  name  I 
Within   my  breast   there  lives  a  choking 

flame  — 
O  let  me  cool 't  the  zephyr-boughs  among  ! 
A  homeward  fever  parches  up  my  tongue  — 
O  let  me  slake  it  at  the  running  springs  !  320 
Upon  my  ear  a  noisy  nothing  rings  — 
O  let  me  once  more  hear  the  linnet's  note  ! 
Before  mine  eyes  thick  films  and  shadows 

float  — 
O  let  me  'noint  them  with  the  heaven's 

light ! 
Dost  thou  now  lave  thy  feet  and  ankles 

white? 
O  think  how  sweet  to  me  the  freshening 

sluice ! 
Dost  thou  now  please  thy  thirst  with  berry- 
juice? 
O  thiuk  how  this  dry  palate  would  rejoice  ! 
If  in  soft  slumber  thou  dost  hear  my  voice, 
O  think  how  I  should    love    a    bed    of 

flowers  I  —  330 

Young  goddess !    let  roe  see  my   native 

bowers  I 
Deliver  me  from  this  rapacious  deep  ! ' 


Thus  ending  loudly,  as  he  would  o'ez^ 

leap 
His  destiny,  alert  he  stood:  but  when 
Obstinate  silence  came  heavily  again. 
Feeling  about  for  its  old  couch  of  space 
And  airy  cradle,  lowly  bow'd  his  face. 
Desponding,  o'er  the  marble  floor's  cold 

thriU. 
But  't  was  not  long;  for,  sweeter  than  the 

riU 
To  its  old  channel,  or  a  swollen  tide         34Q 
To  margin  sallows,  were  the  leaves  he  apied^ 
And  flowers,  and  wreaths,  and  ready  myrtlft 

crowns 
Upheaping  through  the  slab:  refreshment 

drowns 
Itself,  and  strives  its  own  delights  to  hide — 
Nor  in  one  spot  alone;  the  floral  pride 
In  a  long  whispering  birth  enchanted  grew 
Before  his  footsteps;  as  when  heaved  anew 
Old  ocean  rolls  a  lengthened  wave  to  the 

shore, 
Down  whose  green   back  the  short-lived 

foam,  all  hoar, 
Bursts    gradual,   with    a   wayward    indo- 
lence. 350 

Increasing  still  in  heart,  and  pleasant 

sense. 
Upon  his  fairy  journey  on  he  hastes; 
So  anxious  for  the  end,  be  scarcely  wastes 
One  moment  with   his  hand  among  the 

sweets: 
Onward  he  goes  —  he  stops  —  his  bosom 

beats 
As  plainly  in  his  ear,  as  the  faint  charm 
Of  which  the  throbs  were  bom.     This  still 

alarm. 
This  sleepy  music,  forced  him  walk  tip* 

toe: 
For  it  came  more  softly  than  the  east  coold 

blow 
Arion's  magic  to  the  Atlantic  isles;  36^ 

Or  than  the  west,  made  jealous  by  tbs 

smiles 
Of  throned  Apollo,  could  breathe  back  the 

lyre 
To  seas  Ionian  and  Tyrian. 


BOOK  SECOND 


69 


O  did  be  oyer  live,  that  lonelj  man, 
VTbo  lored — and  music  slew  not?    Tis 

the  pest 
Of  knrey  tliat  fairest  joys  give  most  unrest; 
That  things  of  delicate  and  tenderest  worth 
Are  •wallow'd  all,  and  made    a   seared 

dearth, 
Bj  ODe  eoosnming  flame:  it  doth  immerse 
And  suffocate  true  blessings  in  a  curse.  370 
Half-happjy  by  comparison  of  bliss, 
Is  miserable.    T  was  even  so  with  this 
Dew-dropping   melody,    in    the    Carian's 


First  heaven,  then  hell,  and  then  forgotten 

clear, 
Tanish'd  in  elemental  passion. 

And  down  some  swart  abysm   he  had 
gone, 
Had  not  a  heavenly  guide  benignant  led 
To  where  thick  myrtle  branches,  'gainst 

his  head 
firashingy  awakened:  then  the  sounds  again 
Went    noiseless    as    a    passing    noontide 
rain  380 

Over  a  bower,  where  little  space  he  stood; 
For  as  the  sunset  peeps  into  a  wood, 
So  saw  he  panting  light,  and  towards  it 

went 
ThRNigh  winding  alleys;  and  lo,  wonder- 
ment ! 
Upoo  soft  verdure  saw,  one  here,  one  there, 
Cspids  a-slnmbering  on  their  pinions  fair. 

After  a  thousand  mazes  overgone. 
At  Isst,  with  sudden  step,  he  came  upon 
A  Camber,  myrtle-wall'd,  embower'd  high, 
Fin  of  light,  incense,  tender  minstrelsy,  390 
And  BMie  of  beautiful  and  strange  beside: 
F«  OB  a  silken  couch  of  rosy  pride, 
la  midst  of  all,  there  lay  a  sleeping  youth 
Of  feadest  beauty;  fonder,  in  fair  sooth, 
TIsB  sighs  could  fathom,  or  contentment 

reach: 
Aai  eovtrlids  gold-tinted  like  the  peach, 
^  ripe  October's  faded  marigolds, 
Fdl  sleek  abcNit  him  in  a  thousand  folds  — 
Xot  hidiag  up  an  Apollonian  curve 


Of  neck  and  shoulder,  nor   the    tenting 

swerve  400 

Of  knee  from  knee,  nor  ankles  pointing 

light; 
But  rather,  giving  them  to  the  fill'd  sight 
Officiously.    Sideway  his  face  reposed 
On  one  white  arm,  and  tenderly  unclosed. 
By  tenderest    pressure,  a    faint    damask 

mouth 
To  slumbery  pout;  just  as  the  morning 

south 
Disparts  a  dew-lipp'd  rose.      Above  his 

head. 
Four  lily  stalks  did  their  white  honours 

wed 
To  make  a  coronal;  and  round  him  grew 
All  tendrils  green,  of  every   bloom  and 

hue,  410 

Together  intertwined  and  trammelled  fresh: 
The  vine  of  glossy  sprout;  the  ivy  mesh. 
Shading  its  Ethiop  berries;  and  woodbine. 
Of  velvet-leaves  and  bugle-blooms  divine; 
Convolvulus  in  streaked  vases  flush; 
The    creeper,   mellowing  for  an   autumn 

blush; 
And  virgin's  bower,  trailing  airily; 
With  others  of  the  sisterhood.     Hard  by, 
Stood  serene  Cupids  watching  silently. 
One,    kneeling    to    a    lyre,    touch'd    the 

strings,  430 

Muffling  to  death  the  pathos  with  his  wings; 
And,  ever  and  anon,  uprose  to  look 
At  the  youth's  slumber;  while  another  took 
A  willow  bough,  distilling  odorous  dew. 
And  shook  it  on  his  hair;  another  flew 
In  through  the  woven  roof,  and  fluttering- 

wise 
Rain'd  violets  upon  his  sleeping  eyes. 

At  these  enchantments,  and  yet  many 
more, 

The  breathless  Liatmian  wonder'd  o'er  and 
o*er; 

Until  impatient  in  embarrassment,  430 

He  forthright  pass'd,  and  lightly  treading 
went 

To  that  same  f eather'd  lyrist,  who  straight- 
way. 


70 


ENDYMION 


Smiling,  thus  whisper'd:    *  Though   from 

upper  day 
Thou  art  a  wanderer,  and  thy  presence 

here 
Might  seem  unholy,  be  of  happy  cheer ! 
For  't  is  the  nicest  touch  of  human  honour, 
When  some  ethereal  and  high-favouring 

donor 
Presents  immortal  bowers  to  mortal  sense; 
As  now 't  is  done  to  thee,  Endymion.  Hence 
Was  I  in  no  wise  startled.     So  recline    440 
Upon  these  living  flowers.     Here  is  wine. 
Alive  with  sparkles  —  never,  I  aver, 
Since  Ariadne  was  a  vintager, 
So  cool  a  pnrple:  taste  these  juicy  pears. 
Sent  me  by  sad  Vertumnus,  when  his  fears 
Were  high  about  Pomona:  here  is  cream. 
Deepening  to  richness  from  a  snowy  gleam ; 
Sweeter  than  that  nurse  Amalthea  skimm'd 
For  the  boy  Jupiter:  and  here,  undimm'd 
By  any  touch,  a  bunch  of  blooming  plums 
Ready  to  melt  between  an  infant's  g^ms: 
And   here  is  manna  pick'd  from  Syrian 

trees,  452 

In  starlight,  by  the  three  Hesperides. 
Feast  on,  and  meanwhile  I  will  let  thee 

know 
Of  all  these  things  around  us.'     He  did 

so. 
Still  brooding  o'er  the  cadence  of  his  lyre; 
And  thus:  *I  need  not  any  hearing  tire 
By  telling  how  the  sea-bom  goddess  pined 
For  a  mortal  youth,  and  how  she  strove  to 

bind 
Him  all  in  all  unto  her  doating  self.         460 
Who  would  not  be  so  prison'd  ?  but,  fond 

elf, 
He  was  content  to  let  her  amorous  plea 
Faint  through  his  careless  arms;  content  to 

see 
An  unseized  heaven  dying  at  his  feet; 
Content,  O  fool !  to  make  a  cold  retreat, 
When  on  the  pleasant  grass  such  love,  love- 
lorn. 
Lay  sorrowing;  when  every  tear  was  bom 
Of  diverse  passion;  when  her  lips  and  eyes 
Were  closed  in  sullen  moisture,  and  quick 

sighs 


Came  vex'd  and  pettish  through  her  nos- 
trils small.  470 
Hnshl  no  exclaim — yet,  justly  might'st 

thou  call 
Curses  upon  his  head.  —  I  was  half  glad. 
But  my  poor  mistress  went  distract  and 

mad. 
When  the  boar  tusk'd  him :  so  away  she  flew 
To  Jove's  high  throne,  and  by  her  plainings 

drew 
Immortal  tear-drops  down  the  thnndexer's 

beard; 
Whereon,  it  was  decreed  he  should    be 

rear'd 
Each  summer-time  to  life.     Lo  I  this  is  he^ 
That  same  Adonis,  safe  in  the  privacy 
Of  this  still  region  all  his  winter-sleep.    480 
Aye,  sleep;  for  when  our  love-sick  qneen 

did  weep 
Over    his    waned    corse,    the    tremoloiis 

shower 
Heal'd  up  the  wound,  and,  with  a  balmy 

power, 
Medicined  death  to  a  lengthened  drowsi- 
ness: 
The  which  she  fills  with  visions,  and  doth 

dress 
In  all  this  quiet  luxury;  and  hath  set 
Us  young  immortals,  without  any  let, 
To  watch  his  slimiber  through.     'T  is  well 

nigh  pass'd. 
Even  to  a  moment's  filling  up,  and  fast 
She  scuds  with  summer  breezes,  to  paai 

through  49* 

The  first  long  kiss,  warm  firstling,  to  renew 
Embower'd  sports  in  Cytherea's  isle. 
Look!  how  those  winged  listeners  all  this 

while 
Stand  anxious:  see!  behold!'  —  This  cl»> 

mant  word 
Broke    through  the    careful  silence;    fot 

they  heard 
A  rustling  noise  of  leaves,  and  out  there 

flutter'd 
Pigeons    and    doves:     Adonis    something 

mutter'd. 
The  while  one  hand,  that  erst  upon  hie 

thigh 


BOOK   SECOND 


7* 


Laj  doniuuity  moved  oonTulaed  and  gradu- 

Up  to  his  forehead.    Then  there  was  a 

hmn  500 

Off  sadden  Toioes,  echoing, '  Come  I  come  ! 
Arise  I  awake  I    Clear  sommer  has  forth 

walk'd 
Unto  the  cbTer^ward,  and  she  has  talk'd 
Foil  soothingly  to  every  nested  finch: 
Rise,  Copids  I  or  we  11  give  the  bluebell 

pinch 
To  your  dimpled  arms.    Once  more  sweet 

life  begin ! ' 
At  this,  from  every  side  they  hurried  in, 
Rubbing  their  sleepy  eyes  with  lazy  wrists, 
And  doubling  overhead  their  little  fists 
In  bttckward  yawns.    But  all  were  soon 

alive:  510 

For,  as  delicious  wine  doth,  sparkling,  dive 
Ib  neetar'd  clouds  and  curls  through  water 


So  from  the  arbour  roof  down  swell'd  an  air 
Odocoos  and  enlivening;  making  all 
To  laugh,  and  play,  and  sing,  and  loudly  call 
For   their   sweet   queen:    when    lo !    the 

wreathed  green 
Disparted,  and  far  upward  could  be  seen 
Bine  heaven,  and  a  silver  car,  air-borne, 
Whose  silent  wheels,  fresh  wet  from  clouds 

of  mom. 
Span  off  a  drizzling  dew,  —  which  falling 

dull  520 

Ob  soft  Adcmis'  shoulders,  made  him  still 
KoUe  and  tnm  uneasily  about. 
Soon  were  the  white  doves  plain,  with  necks 

stretch'd  out, 
Aad  niken  traces  lighten'd  in  descent; 
lad  ioon,  returning  from  love's  banish- 
ment, 
Qhsb   Venus    leaning    downward    open- 

arm'd: 
&»  shadow   fell    upon    his   breast,  and 

dbarm  d 
A  tannili  to  his  heart,  and  a  new  life 
hto  his  eyes.    Ah,  miserable  strife, 
lot  for  hn  eomf orting  I  unhappy  sight,  530 
lot  meeting  her  blue  orbs  f    Who,  who 

esa  write 


Of  these  first  minutes  ?    The  unchariest 

muse 
To  embracements  warm  as  theirs  makes 

coy  excuse. 

O  it  has  ruffled  every  spirit  there. 
Saving  Love's  self,  who  stands  superb  to 

share 
The  general  gladness:  awfully  he  stands; 
A  sovereign  quell  is  in  his  waving  hands; 
No  sight  can  bear  the  lightning  of  his  bow; 
His  quiver  is  mysterious,  none  can  know 
What  themselves  think  of  it;  from  forth 

his  eyes  540 

There  darts  strange  light  of  varied  hues 

and  dyes: 
A  scowl  is  sometimes  on  his  brow,  but  who 
Look  full  upon  it  feel  anon  the  blue 
Of  his  fair  eyes  run  liquid  through  their 

souls. 
Endymion  feels  it,  and  no  more  controls 
The  burning  prayer  within  him;  so,  bent 

low, 
He  had  begun  a  plaining  of  his  woe. 
But  Venus,  bending  forward,  said:  'My 

child. 
Favour  this  gentle  youth;  his  days  are  wild 
With  love  —  he  —  but  alas  I  too  well  I  see 
Thou  know'st  the  deepness  of  his  misery. 
Ah,  smile  not  so,  my  son:  I  tell  thee  true. 
That  when  through  heavy  hours  I  used  to 


rue 


553 


The  endless  sleep  of  this  new-bom  Aden', 
This  stranger  ay  I  pitied.     For  upon 
A  dreary  morning  once  1  fled  away 
Into  the  breezy  clouds,  to  weep  and  pray 
For  this  my  love:  for  vexing  Mars  had 

teased 
Me  even  to  tears:  thence,  when  a  little 

eased, 
Down-looking,  vacant,  through  a  hazy  wood, 
I  saw  this  youth  as  he  despairing  stood:  561 
Those  same  dark  curls  blown  vagrant  in 

the  wind; 
Those   same  full  fringed  lids  a  constant 

blind 
Over  his  sullen  eyes:  I  saw  him  throw 
Himself  on  withered  leaves,  even  as  though 


72 


ENDYMION 


Death  had  come  sadden;  for  no  jot  he 

moved, 
Yet  mattered  wildly.    I  could  hear  he  loved 
Some  fair  immortal,  and  that  his  embrace 
Had  zoned  her  through  the  night.    There 

is  no  trace 
Of  this  in  heaven:  I  have  mark'd  each 

cheek,  570 

And  find  it  is  the  vainest  thing  to  seek; 
And  that  of  all  things  't  is  kept  seoretest. 
Endymion !  one  day  thou  wilt  be  blest: 
So  still  obey  the  guiding  hand  that  fends 
Thee  safely  through    these  wonders  for 

sweet  ends. 
'T  is  a  concealment  needful  in  extreme; 
And  if  I  guess'd  not  so,  the  sunny  beam 
Thou  shouldst  mount  up  with  me.     Now 

adieu  1 
Here  must   we    leave  thee.'  —  At    these 

words  upflew 
The  impatient  doves,  uprose  the  floating 

car,  580 

Up  went  the  hum  celestial.     High  afar 
The  Latmian  saw  them  minish  into  naught; 
Andy  when  all  were  clear  vanished,  still  he 

caught 
A  vivid  lightning  from  that  dreadful  bow. 
When  all  was  darkened,  with  ^tnean  throe 
The  earth  closed  —  gave  a  solitary  moan  — 
And  left  him  once  again  in  twilight  lone. 

He  did  not  rave,  he  did  not  stare  aghast. 
For  all  those  visions  were  o'ergone,  and 

past. 
And  he  in  loneliness:  he  felt  assured       590 
Of  happy  times,  when  all  he  had  endured 
Would  seem  a  feather  to  the  mighty  prize. 
So,  with  unusual  gladness,  on  he  hies 
Through   caves,   and  palaces  of    mottled 

ore, 
Grold  dome,  and  crystal  wall,  and  turquois 

floor, 
Black  polish'd  porticos  of  awful  shade. 
And,  at  the  last,  a  diamond  balustrade. 
Leading  afar  past  wild  magnificence. 
Spiral  through  ruggedest  loopholes,  and 

thence 
Stretching  across  a  void,  then  guiding  o'er 


Enormous  chasms,  where,  all  foam  and 

roar,  601 

Streams  subterranean  tease  their  grmnite 

beds; 
Then  heighten'd  just  above  the  silvery  heads 
Of  a  thousand  fountains,  so  that  he  ooold 

dash 
The  waters  with  his  spear;    but  at  the 

splash. 
Done  heedlessly,  those  spouting  columns 

rose 
Sudden  a  poplar's  height,  and  'gan  to  en- 
close 
His  diamond  path  with  fretwork,  streaming 

round 
Alive,  and  dazzling  cool,  and  with  a  sound, 
Haply,  like  dolphin  tumults,  when  sweet 

shells  6ie 

Welcome  the  float  of  Thetis.    Long  ho 

dwells 
On  this  delight;  for,  every  minute's  space, 
The  streams  with  changed  magic  interlace: 
Sometimes  like  delicatest  lattices, 
Cover'd  with  crystal  vines;  then  weeping 

trees. 
Moving  about  as  in  a  gentle  wind. 
Which,  in  a  wink,  to  watery  gauze  refined, 
Poured  into  shapes  of  curtain'd  canopies. 
Spangled,  and  rich  with  liquid  broideries 
Of  flowers,  peacocks,  swans,  and  naiads 

fair.  6ao 

Swifter  than  lightning  went  these  wonden 

rare; 
And  then  the  water,  into  stubborn  streams 
Collecting,  mimick'd  the  wrought  oaken 

beams. 
Pillars,  and  frieze,  and  high  fantastic  roo^ 
Of  those  dusk  places  in  times  far  aloof 
Cathedrals  call'd.    He  bade  a  loth  fare- 

well 
To  these  founts  Protean,  passing  g^nlf,  and 

dell. 
And  torrent,   and  ten    thousand    jutting 

shapes. 
Half   seen  through   deepest   gloom,  and 

griesly  gapes, 
Blackening  on  every  side,  and  overhead   630 
A  vaulted  dome  like  Heaven's,  far  bespread 


BOOK   SECOND 


73 


With  starlight  gems:  aye,  all  so  huge  and 


The  solitary  felt  a  harried  change 
Working     within     him     into     something 

dreary, — 
Vex'd  like  a  morning  eagle,  lost,  and  weary. 
And  purblind  amid  foggy,  midnight  wolds. 
Bat  be  reyiyes  at  once:  for  who  beholds 
New  sadden  things,  nor  casts  his  mental 

sloQgh? 
Forth  from  a  rugged  arch,  in  the  dusk  be- 
low, 639 
Came  mother  Cvbcle  !  alone  —  alone  — 
la  sombre  chariot;  dark  foldings  thrown 
About  her  majesty,  and  front  death-pale, 
With  torrets  crown'd.     Four  maned  lions 

hale 
The  sluggish  wheels;  solemn  their  toothed 

maws. 
Their  surly  eyes  brow-hidden,  heavy  paws 
Uplifted  drowsily,  and  nervy  tails 
Cowering  their  tawny  brushes.    Silent  sails 
This  shadowy  queen  athwart,  and  faints 

away 
In  SBother  gloomy  arch. 

Wherefore  delay, 
Toang  traveller,  in  such  a  mournful  place  ? 
Art  thoa  wayworn,  or  canst  not  further 

trace  651 

The  diamond  path?    And  does  it  indeed 

end 
Afarapt  in  middle  air?      Yet  earthward 

bend 
1^  forehead,  and  to  Jupiter  cloud-borne 
Call  ardently  !     He  was  indeed  wayworn; 
AhrapC,  in  middle  air,  his  way  was  lost ; 
To  ekmd-bome  Jove  he  bowed,  and  there 


Tmrards  him  a  large  eagle,  'twizt  whose 

wings, 
without  one    impious   word,   himself    he 

ffingi, 
Ciamitted  to  the  darkness  and  the  gloom : 
Wb,  down,  uncertain  to  what  pleasant 

doom,  661 

wift  M  a  fathoming  plummet  down  he 

fen 


Through  unknown  things;  till  exhaled  as- 
phodel. 

And  rose,  with  spicy  fannings  inter  breathed. 

Came  swelling  forth  where  little  caves  were 
wreathed 

So  thick  with  leaves  and  mosses,  that  they 
seem*d 

Large  honeycombs  of  green,  and  freshly 
teem'd 

With  airs  delicious.     In  the  greenest  nook 

The  eagle  landed  him,  and  farewell  took. 

It  was  a  jasmine  bower,  all  bestrown  670 
With  golden  moss.     His  every  sense  had 

grown 
Etliereal  for  pleasure;  'bove  his  head 
Flew  a  delight  half-graspable;  his  tread 
Was  Ilespcrean;  to  his  capable  ears 
Silence  was  music  from  the  holy  spheres; 
A  dewy  luxury  was  in  his  eyes; 
The  little  flowers  felt  his  pleasant  sighs 
And  stirr*d  them  faintly.      Verdant  cave 

and  cell 
lie   wandered   through,   oft  wondering  at 

such  swell 
Of  sudden  exaltation:  but,  *  Alas  ! '  680 

Said  he,  '  will  all  this  gush  of  feeling  pass 
Away  in  solitude  ?     And  must  they  wane. 
Like  melodies  upon  a  sandy  plain. 
Without  an  echo  ?     Then  shall  I  be  left 
So  sad,  so  melancholy,  so  bert'ft  ! 
Yet  still  I  feel  immortal  I     O  my  love, 
My  breath  of  life,  where  art  thou  ?     High 

above. 
Dancing    before    the    morning    gates    of 

heaven  ? 
Or  keeping  watch  among  those  starry  seven. 
Old  Atlas'  children  ?     Art  a  maid  of  the 

waters,  (xyo 

One  of  shell- winding  Triton's  bright-hair'd 

daughters  ? 
Or  art,  impossible  !  a  nymph  of  Dian's, 
Weaving  a  coronal  of  tender  scions 
For  very  idleness  ?     Where'er  thou  art, 
Methinks  it  now  is  at  my  will  to  start 
Into  thine  arms;  to  scare  Aurora's  train, 
And  snatch  thee  from  the  morning;  o'er 

the  main 


74 


ENDYMION 


To  scud  like  a  wild  bird,  and  take  thee  off 
From  thy  sea-foamy  cradle;  or  to  doff 
Thy  shepherd  vest,  and  woo  thee  'mid 

fresh  leaves.  700 

Noy  nOy  too  eagerly  my  soul  deceives 
Its  powerless  self:  I  know  this  cannot  be. 
O  let  me  then  by  some  sweet  dreaming 

flee 
To  her  entrancements:  hither  sleep  awhile  ! 
Hither  most  gentle  sleep  1  and  soothing  foil 
For  some  few  hours  the  coming  solitude.' 

Thus  spake  he,  and  that  moment  felt 

endued 
With  power  to  dream  deliciously ;  so  wound 
Through  a  dim  passage,  searching  till  he 

found 
The  smoothest  mossy  bed  and    deepest, 

where  710 

He  threw  himself,  and  just  into  the  air 
Stretching  his  indolent  arms,  he  took,  O  | 

bliss  ! 
A  naked  waist:   'Fair  Cupid,  whence  is 

this  ? ' 
A    well-known    voice  sigh'd,  'Sweetest, 

here  am  I ! ' 
At  which  soft  ravishment,  with  doting  cry 
They  trembled  to  each  other.  —  Helicon  ! 
O  fountain'd  hill !     Old  Homer's  Helicou  ! 
That  thou  wouldst  spout  a  little  streamlet 

o'er 
These  sorry  pages;  then  the  verse  would 

soar 
And  sing  above  this  gentle  pair,  like  lark 
Over  his  nested  young:  but  all  is  dark    721 
Around  thine  aged  top,  and  thy  clear  fount 
Exhales  in  mists  to  heaven.    Aye,  the  count 
Of  mighty  Poets  is  made  up;  the  scroll 
Is  folded  by  the  Muses;  the  bright  roll 
Is  in  Apollo's  hand:  our  dazed  eyes 
Have  seen  a  new  tinge  in  the  western  skies: 
The  world  has  done  its  duty.    Yet,  oh  yet, 
Although  the  sun  of  poesy  is  set. 
These  lovers  did  embrace,  and  we  must 

weep  730 

That  there  is  no  old  power  left  to  steep 
A  quill  immortal  in  their  joyous  tears. 
Long  time  in  silence  did  their  anxious  fears 


Question  that  thus  it  was;  long  time  they 

lay 
Fondling  and  kissing  every  doubt  away; 
Long  time  ere  soft  caressing  sobs  began 
To  mellow  into  words,  and  then  there  ran 
Two  bubbling  springs  of  talk  from  their 

sweet  lips. 
'  O  known  Unknown !  from  whom  my  b^ 

ing  sips  7w 

Such  darling  essence,  wherefore  may  I  not 
Be  ever  in  these  arms  ?  in  this  sweet  spot 
Pillow  my  chin  for  ever  ?  ever  press 
These  toying  hands  and  kiss  their  smooth 

excess  ? 
Why  not  for  ever  and  for  ever  feel 
That  breath  about  my  eyes  ?  Ah,  thou  wilt 

steal 
Away  from  me  again,  indeed,  indeed  — 
Thou  wilt  be  gone  away,  and  wilt  not  heed 
My  lonely  madness.     Speak,  delicious  fair 
Is  —  is  it  to  be  so  ?     No  !     Who  will  dare 
To  pluck  thee  from  me?    And,  of  thine 

own  will,  7S0 

Full  well  I  feel  thou  wouldst  not  leave  me. 

StiU 
Let  me  entwine  thee  surer,  surer  —  now 
How  can  we  part  ?    Elysium  !     Who  ait 

thou? 
Who,  that  thou  caust  not  be  for  ever  here, 
Or  lift  me  with  thee  to  some  starry  sphere  f 
Enchantress  !  tell  me  by  this  soft  embraoe. 
By  the  most  soft  completion  of  thy  face. 
Those  lips,  O  slippery   blisses,  twinkling 

eyes. 
And  by  these  tenderest,  milky  sovereign- 
ties— 
These  tenderest,  and  by  the  nectar-wine. 
The  passion ' '  O  doved  Ida  the  di- 
vine I  761 
Endymion  !  dearest !    Ah,  unhappy  me ! 
His  soul  will  'scape  us  —  O  felicity  I 
How  he  does  love  me  !     His  poor  templet 

beat 
To  the  very  tune  of  love  —  how  sweety 

sweet,  sweet. 
Revive,  dear  youth,  or  I  shall  faint  and 

die; 
Revive,  or  these  soft  hours  will  hurry  l^ 


BOOK  SECOND 


75 


Ib  timneed  doIlneM;  speak,  and  let  that 

speU 
Affrigbt  tliii  lethargy  I    I  cannot  quell 
Its  hmtLTj  pmsnrey  and  will  pzese  at  least 
My  fips  to  thine,  that  they  may  richly 


77  « 

Until  we  taste  the  life  of  love  again. 
Whatl  dost  thoa  more?  dost  kiss?    O 

hlias  I  O  pun  ! 
I  love  thee,  yonth,  more  than  I  can  con- 

eeive; 
And  so  long  absence  from  thee  doth  be- 

reave 
My  soul  of  any  rest:  yet  must  I  hence: 
Tct,  can  I  not  to  starry  eminence 
Uplift  thee;  nor  for  very  shame  can  own 
Mjself  to  thee.    Ah,  dearest,  do  not  groan 
Or  thon  wilt  f oroe  me  from  this  secrecy,  780 
And  I  most  blush  in  heaven.    O  that  I 
Bad  done  it  already ;   that  the  dreadful 

smiles 
At  my  lost    brightness,  my  impassion'd 

wiles, 
Hsd  waned  from  Olympus'  solemn  height, 
Aad  from  all  serious  Grods;  that  our  de- 
light 
Was  quite  forgotten,  save  of  us  alone  ! 
iad  wherefore  so  ashamed  ?    'T  is  but  to 


Fv  endless    pleasure,  by  some    coward 

hinshes: 
Tft  Bost  I  be  a  coward  !  —  Honour  rushes 
IW  palpable  before  me  —  the  sad  look  790 
Of  Jove — Minerva's    start  —  no    bosom 

shook 
With  awe  of  pority  —  no  Cupid  pinion 
la  lemeiiee  veiled  —  my  crystalline  do- 


Uf  lost,  and  all  old  hymns  made  nul- 

Ktyl 
Wt what  is  this  to  love?    O  I  could  fly 
Vidi  thee  into  the  ken  of  heavenly  pew- 


it tton  wooldst  thus,  for  many  sequent 
houji, 
^  BM  so  sweetly.    Now  I  swear  at 


^  I  am  wise»  that  Pallas  is  a  dunce  — 


Perhaps   her  love  like    mine  is  but  un- 
known —  800 

0  I  do  think  that  I  have  been  alone 

In  chastity:  yes,  Pallas  has  been  sighing, 
While  every  eve  saw  me  my  hair  uptying 
With  fingers  cool  as  aspen  leaves.     Sweet 
love, 

1  was  as  vague  as  solitary  doye, 

Nor  knew  that  nests  were  built.     Now  a 

soft  kiss  — 
•^ye»  by  that  kiss,  I  vow  an  endless  bliss, 
An  immortality  of  passion  's  thine: 
Ere  long  I  will  exalt  thee  to  the  shine 
Of  heaven  ambrosial;  and  we  will  shade  810 
Ourselves  whole  summers  by  a  river  glade; 
And  I  will  tell  thee  stories  of  the  sky, 
And  breathe  thee  whispers  of  its  minstrelsy. 
My  happy  love  will  overwing  all  bounds  ! 
O  let  me  melt  into  thee;  let  the  sounds 
Of  our  close  voices  marry  at  their  birth; 
Let  us  entwine  hoveringly  —    O  dearth 
Of  human   words !    roughness  of   mortal 

speech ! 
Lispings  empyrean  will  I  sometime  teach 
Thine    honey'd  tongue  —  lute-breathings, 

which  I  gasp  .  830 

To  have  thee  understand,  now  while    I 

clasp 
Thee  thus,  and  weep  for  fondness  —  I  am 

paiu'd, 
Endymiou:  woe  !  woe  !  is  g^ef  contain'd 
In  the  very   deeps  of  pleasure,  my  sole 

lif  e  ?  '  — 
Hereat,  with  many  sobs,  her  gentle  strife 
Melted  into  a  languor.     He  retum'd 
Entranced  vows  and  tears. 

Ye  who  have  yeam'd 
With  too  much  passion,  will  here  stay  and 

pity. 
For  the  mere  sake  of  truth;  as  't  is  a  ditty 
Not  of  these  days,  but  long  ago  't  was  told 
By  a  cavern  wind  unto  a  forest  old;         831 
And  then  the  forest  told  it  in  a  dream 
To  a  sleeping  lake,  whose  cool  and  level 

gleam 
A  poet  caught  as  he  was  journeying 
To  Phoebus'  shrine;  and  in  it  he  did  fling 


76 


ENDYMION 


His  weary  limbs,  bathiug  an  hour's  space, 
And  after,  straight  in  that  inspired  place 
He  sang  the  story  up  into  the  air, 
Giving  it  universal  freedom.     There 
Has  it  been  ever  sounding  for  those  ears  840 
Whose  tips  are  glowing  hot.     The  legend 

cheers 
Yon   sentinel  stars;  and  he   who   listens 

to  it 
Must  surely  be  self-doom'd  or  he   will 

rue  it: 
For  quenchless   burnings  come   upon  the 

heart, 
Made  fiercer  by  a  fear  lest  any  part 
Should  be  engulfed  in  the  eddying  wind. 
As  much  as  here  is  penn'd  doth   always 

find 
A  resting-place,  thus  much  comes  clear  and 

plain; 
Anon  the  strange  voice  is  upon  the  wane  — 
And  't  is  but  echoed  from  departing  sound, 
That  the  fair  visitant  at  last  unwound     851 
Her    gentle    limbs,  and    left    the    youth 

asleep.  — 
Thus  the  tradition  of  the  gusty  deep. 

Now  turn    we   to  our   former    chroni- 
clers. — 
Endymion  awoke,  that  grief  of  hers 
Sweet  paining  on  his  ear:  he  sickly  guess'd 
How  lone   he  was   once  more,  and  sadly 

press'd 
His  empty  arms  together,  hung  his  head. 
And  most  forlorn  upon  that  widow'd  bed 
Sat    silently.      Love*s    madness    he     had 

known :  860 

Often  with  more  than  tortured  lion's  groan 
Moanings  had  burst   from  him;   but  now 

that  rag^ 
Had  pass'd  away:  no  longer  did  he  wage 
A  rough-voiced  war  against  the  dooming 

stars. 
No,  he  had  felt  too  much  for  such  harsh 

jars: 
The  lyre  of  his  soul  .^k)lian  tuned 
Forgot  all  violence,  and  but  communed 
With    melancholy    thought :    O    he    had 

swoon'd 


Drunken  from  pleasure's  nipple;  and  his 

love 
Henceforth  was  dove-like.  —  Loth  was  he 

to  move  870 

From  the  imprinted  couch,  and  when  he 

did, 
'T  was  with  slow,  languid  paces,  and  faoe 

hid 
In  muffling  hands.     So  tempered,  out  he 

stray'd 
Half  seeing  visions  that  might  have  dis- 
mayed 
Alecto's  serpents;  ravishments  more  keen 
Than  Hermes'  pipe,  when  anxious  he  did 

lean 
Over  eclipsing  eyes:  and  at  the  last 
It  was  a  sounding  grotto,  vaulted,  vast, 
O'erstudded   with    a    thousand,   thousand 

pearls. 
And  crimson-mouthed  shells  with  stubborn 

curls,  88a 

Of  every  shape  and  size,  even  to  the  bulk 
In  which  whales  harbour  close,  to  brood 

and  sulk 
Against  an  endless  storm.     Moreover  too^ 
Fish-semblances,  of  green  and  azure  hue. 
Ready  to  snort  their  streams.     In  this  cool 

wonder 
Endymion  sat  down,  and  'gan  to  ponder 
On  all  his  life:  his  youth,  up  to  the  day 
When  'mid  acclaim,  and  feasts,  and  ga^> 

lands  gay. 
He  stept  upon  his  shepherd  throne :  the  look 
Of  his  white  palace  in  wild  forest  nook,  891 
And  all  the  revels  he  had  lorded  there: 
Each  tender  maiden  whom  he  once  thongliL 

fair. 
With  every  friend  and  fellow-woodlander— 
Pass'd  like  a  dream  before  him.     Then  thm 

spur 
Of  the  old  bards  to  mighty  deeds:  his  j^safli 
To  nurse  the  gulden  age  'mong  shephenS 

clans: 
That  wondrous  night:  the  great  Pan-fest&e 

val: 
His  sister's  sorrow;  and  his  wanderings  aJT^ 
Until  into  the  earth's  deep  maw  he  rush'i^ 
Then  all  its  buried  magic,  till  it  flush'd 


BOOK   SECOND 


77 


Uisrh  with    ezoessiye    love.     'And  now,' 

thoaglit  he, 
*  Hofw  long  must  I  remain  in  jeopardy 
Of  blank  amaxements  that  amaze  no  more  ? 
I  have  tasted  her  sweet  soul  to  the 


core. 
All  other  depths  are  shallow:  essences, 
Once  spiritual,  are  like  muddy  lees, 
Meant  hot  to  fertilize  my  earthly  root, 
And  make  my  branches  lift  a  golden  fruit 
latothe  bloom  of  heaven:  other  light, 
Thoogh  it  be  quick  and  sharp  enough  to 
Might   -  910 

The  Olympian  eagle's  vision,  is  dark, 
Jhrk  as  the  parentage  of  chaos.     Hark  ! 
My  nlent  thoaghts  are  echoing  from  these 

shells; 
Or  they  are  bat  the  ghosts,  the  dying  swells 
Of  noises  far  away  ?  —  list  I '  —  Hereupon 
He  kept  an  anxious  ear.     The  humming 

tone 
Came  loader,  and  behold,  there  as  he  lay, 
Ob  other  side  outgush'd,  with  misty  spray, 
A  eopioas  spring;  and  both  together  dash'd 
Svift,  mad,  fantastic  round  the  rocks,  and 
lash'd  920 

AMMg  the  concha  and  shells  of  the  lofty 

grot, 
Lcsring  a  trickling  dew.     At  last  they 

shot 
DovB  from  the  oeiling's  height,  pouring  a 

noise 
At  of  some  breathless  racers  whose  hopes 

poise 
Upon  the  last  few  steps,  and  with  spent 

foree 
Akig  the   ground  they  took  a  winding 


Uymion  foUow'd  —  for  it  seem'd  that 


^  panned,  the  other  strove  to  shun  — 
'lOow'd  their  languid  mazes,  till  well  nigh 
^  W  left  thinking  of  the  mystery,  —  930 
U  WIS  now  rapt  in  tender  hoverings 
^^  the  vaniah'd  bliss.     Ah  !   what  is  it 

Bi  dmm  away  ?     What  melodies  are 
these? 


They  sound  as  through  the  whispering  of 

trees. 
Not  native  in  such  barren  vaults.     Give 

ear  I 

*  O  Arethusa,  peerless  nymph  I  why  fear 
Such  tenderness  as  mine  ?     Great   Dian, 

why. 
Why  didst  thou  hear  her  prayer  ?    O  that  I 
Were  rippling  round  her  dainty  fairness 


now. 


939 


Circling  about  her  waist,  and  striving  how 
To  entice  her  to  a  dive  I  then  stealing  in 
Between  her  luscious  lips  and  eyelids  thin. 

0  that  her  shining  hair  was  in  the  sun. 
And  I  distilling  from  it  thence  to  run 

In  amorous  rillets  down  her  shrinking  form  ! 
To  linger  on  her  lily  shoulders,  warm 
Between   her  kissing    breasts,  and  every 

charm 
Touch  raptured  !  —  see   how  painfully   I 

flow: 
Fair  maid,  be  pitiful  to  my  great  woe. 
Stay,  stay  thy  weary  course,  and   let  me 

lead,  950 

A  happy  wooer,  to  the  flowery  mead 
Where    all    that    beauty    snared    me.'  — 

*  Cruel  god. 
Desist  I  or  my  offended  mistress'  nod 
Will  stagnate  all  thy  fountains:  —  tease  me 

not 
With  siren  words  —  Ah,  have  I  really  got 
Such  power  to  madden  thee?     And  is  it 

true  — 
Away,  away,  or  I  shall  dearly  rue 
My  very  thoughts:  in  mercy  then  away. 
Kindest  Alpheus,  for  should  I  obey  959 

My  own  dear  will,  't  would  be  a  deadly 

bane.' 
*  O,  Oread-Queen  !  would  that  thou  hadst  a 

pain 
Like  this  of  mine,  then  would  I  fearless 

turn 
And  be  a  criminal.'     *  Alas,  I  burn, 

1  shudder  —  gentle  river,  get  thee  hence. 
Alpheus  I  thou  enchanter  !  every  sense 
Of  mine  was  once  made  perfect  in  these 

woods. 


78 


ENDYMION 


Fresh  breezes,  bowery  lawns,  and  innocent 

floods, 
Ripe  fruits,  and  lonely  couch,  contentment 

gave; 
But  ever  since  I  heedlessly  did  lave 
In  thy  deceitful  stream,  a  panting  glow   970 
Grew  strong  within  me:   wherefore  serve 

me  so. 
And  call  it  love  ?    Alas  I  't  was  cruelty. 
Not  once  more  did  I  close  my  happy  eye 
Amid  the  thrush's  song.     Away  !  avaunt ! 

0  't  was  a  cruel  thing.'  —  *  Now  thou  dost 

taunt 
So  softly,  Arethusa,  that  I  think 
If  thou  wast  playing  on  my  shady  brink. 
Thou  wouldst  bathe  once  again.    Innocent 

maidl 
Stifle  thine  heart  no  more;  —  nor  be  afraid 
Of  angry  powers:  there  are  deities  980 

Will  shade  us  with  their  wings.     Those 

fitful  sighs 
Tis  almost  death  to  hear:  O  let  me  pour 
A  dewy  balm  upon  them  !  —  fear  no  more. 
Sweet  Arethusa  !  Dian's  self  must  feel 
Sometimes  these  very  pangs.    Dear  maiden, 

steal 
Blushing  into  my  soul,  and  let  us  fly 
These  dreary  caverns  for  the  open  sky. 

1  will  delight  thee  all  my  winding  course. 
From  the  green  sea  up  to  my  hidden  source 
About  Arcadian  forests;  and  will  show  990 
The  channels  where  my  coolest  waters  flow 
Through  mossy  rocks;  where  'mid  exuber- 
ant green, 

I  roam  in  pleasant  darkness,  more  unseen 
Thau  Saturn  in  his  exile;  where  I  brim 
Round  flowery  islands,  and  take  thence  a 

skim 
Of  mealy  sweets,  which  myriads  of  bees 
Buzz  from  their  honey 'd  wings:  and  thou 

shouldst  please 
Thyself  to  choose  the  richest,  where  we 

might 
Be  incense-pillow'd  every  summer  night. 
Doff  all  sad  fears,  thou  white  deliciousuess. 
And  let  us  be  thus  comforted;  unless     looi 
Thou  conldst  rejoice  to  see  my  hopeless 

stream 


Hurry  distracted   from    Sol's    temperate 

beam. 
And  pour  to  death   along  some  hungry 

sands.'  — 
<  What  can  I  do,  Alpheus  ?    Diau  stands 
Severe  beforcme:  persecuting  fate ! 
Unhappy  Arethusa  I  thou  wast  late 
A  huntress  free  in' —     At  this,  sadden 

feU 
Those  two  sad  streams   adown  a  fearful 

deU. 
The  Latmian    listen'd,  but  he  heard  no 

more,  .  1010 

Save  echo,  faint  repeating  o'er  and  o'er 
The  name  of  Arethusa.  On  the  verge 
Of  that  dark  gulf  he  wept,  and  said:   'I 

urge 
Thee,  gentle  Goddess  of  my  pilgrimage, 
By  our  eternal  hopes,  to  soothe,  to  assuage^ 
If  thou  art  powerful,  these  lovers'  pains; 
And  make  them  happy  in  some    happy 

plains.' 

He  tum'd  —  there  was  a  whelming  sound 

—  he  stept, 
There  was  a  cooler  light;  and  so  he  kept 
Towards  it  by  a  sandy  path,  and  lo  1       aoao 
More  suddenly  than  doth  a  moment  go, 
The  visions  of  the  earth  were  gone  and 

fled  — 
He  saw  the  giant  sea  above  his  head. 


BOOK   III 

There  are  who  lord  it  o'er  their  fellow^ 

men 
With  most  prevailing  tinsel:  who  nnpen 
Their  baaing  vanities,  to  browse  away 
The  comfortable  green  and  juicy  hay 
From  human  pastures;    or,  O   tortarin^ 

fact! 
Who,  through  an  idiot  blink,  will  see  on* 

pack'd 
Fire-branded  foxes  to  sear  up  and  singe 
Our  gold  and  ripe-ear'd  hopes.     With  not 

one  tinge 
Of  sanctuary  splendour,  not  a  sight 


BOOK  THIRD 


79 


Able  to  face  an  owl's,  tbej  still  are  dight 
Bj  tlie  bleavi^yed  nations  in  empurpled 


II 


and  tnrbans.    With  unladen 


And 


Save  of  blown  self-applause,  they  proudly 

mount 
To  tbeir  spirit's  perch,  their  being's  high 

aoeonnt, 
Tbeir  tiptop  nothings,  their  dull  skies,  their 

thrones  — 
Amid  tbe  fierce  intoxicating  tones 
Of   trumpets,  shoutings,  and    belabour'd 

drums. 
And  sadden  cannon.    Ahl    how  all  this 

bums, 
la  wakeful  ears,   like  uproar    past    and 

gone  — 
like  tbnnder-elouds  that  spake  to  Baby- 

1cm,  ao 

Aid  set   those    old    Chaldeans    to  their 

tasks.— 
An  then  regalities  all  gilded  masks  ? 
K«^  there  are  throned  seats  unscalable 
Bat  by  a  patient  wing,  a  constant  spell. 
Or  by  ethereal  things  that,  unconfined, 
CsB  nmke  a  ladder  of  the  eternal  wind, 
Aad  poise  about  in  cloudy  thunder-tents 
To  wateh  the  abysm-birth  of  elements. 
Aje,  IwYe  the  withering  of  old-lipp'd  Fate 
A  thousand  Powers  keep  religious  state,  30 
Ib  water,  fiery  realm,  and  airy  bourne; 
Aad,  silent  as  a  consecrated  um, 
HoU  spberey  sessions  for  a  season  due. 
Tci  few  of  these  far  majesties,  ah,  few  ! 
Hate  bared  their  operations  to  this  globe  — 
Few,  who  with  gorgeous  pageantry  enrobe 
Oar  pieee  of  hearen  —  whose  benevolence 
Shakes  hand  with  our  own  Ceres;  every 


FSfiag  with  spiritual  sweets  to  plenitude, 
Ai  bees  gorge  full  their  cells.    And,  by 
the  feud  40 

Twixt  Nothing  and  Creation,  I  here  swear, 
bme  Apollo  f  that  thy  Sister  fair 
kof  aU  these  the  gentlier-mightiest. 
V^  thy  gold  breath  is  misting  in  the 


She  unobserved  steals  unto  her  throne, 
And  there  she  sits  most  meek  and  most 

alone; 
As  if  she  had  not  pomp  subservient; 
As  if  thine  eye,  high  Poet !  was  not  bent 
Towards  her  with  the  Muses  in  thine  heart; 
As  if  the  minist'ring  stars  kept  not  apart. 
Waiting  for  silver-footed  messages.  51 

O  Moon !  the  oldest  shades  'mong  oldest 

trees 
Feel  palpitations  when  thou  lookest  in: 
O  Moon  I  old  boughs  lisp  forth  a  holier  din 
The  while  they  feel  thine  airy  fellowship. 
Thou  dost  bless  everywhere,  with  silver  lip 
Kissing  dead  things  to  life.    The  sleeping 

kine, 
Conch'd  in  thy  brightness,  dream  of  fields 

divine: 
Innumerable  mountains  rise,  and  rise. 
Ambitious  for  the  hallowing  of  thine  eyes; 
And  yet  thy  benediction  passeth  not  61 

One  obscure  hiding-place,  one  little  spot 
Where  pleasure  may  be  sent:  the  nested 

wren 
Has  thy  fair  face  within  its  tranquil  ken. 
And  from  beneath  a  sheltering  ivy  leaf 
Takes  glimpses  of  thee;  thou  art  a  relief 
To  the  poor  patient  oyster,  where  it  sleeps 
Within    its    pearly   bouse.  —  The   mighty 

deeps, 
The  monstrous  sea  is  thine  —  the  myriad 

sea ! 
O   Moon !    far-spooming  Ocean  bows    to 

thee,  70 

And  Tellus  feels  his  forehead's  cumbrous 

load. 

Cynthia !  where  art  thou  now  ?    What 
far  abode 
Of  green  or  silvery  bower  doth  enshrine 
Such  utmost  beauty  ?    Alas,  thou  dost  pine 
For  one  as  sorrowful:  thy  cheek  is  pale 
For  one  whose  cheek  is  pale:  thou  dost  be- 
wail 
His  tears,  who  weeps  for  thee.    Where  dost 

thou  sigh  ? 
Ah  I  surely  that  light  peeps  from  Vesper's 
eye, 


8o 


ENDYMION 


Or  what  a  thing  is  love  !    Tis  She,  but  lo! 

How  changed,  how  full  of  ache,  how  gone 
in  woe  I  80 

She  dies  at  the  thinnest  cloud;  her  loveli- 
ness 

Is  wan  on  Neptune's  blue:  yet  there  's  a 
stress 

Of  loTe-spangles,  just  off  yon  cape  of  trees, 

Dancing  upon  the  waves,  as  if  to  please 

The  curly  foam  with  amorous  influence. 

O,  not  so  idle:  for  down-glancing  thence, 

She  fathoms  eddies,  and  runs  wild  about 

Overwhelming  water-courses;  scaring  out 

The  thorny  sharks  from  hiding-holes,  and 
frightening 

Their  savage  eyes  with  unaccustomed  light- 
ning. 90 

Where  will  the  splendour  be  content  to 
reach  ? 

O  love  !  how  potent  hast  thou  been  to 
teach 

Strange  journeyings  !  Wherever  beauty 
dwells. 

In  g^lf  or  aerie,  mountains  or  deep  dells, 

In  light,  in  gloom,  in  star  or  blazing  sun. 

Thou  pointest  out  the  way,  and  straight 't  is 
won. 

Amid  his  toil  thou  gavest  Leander  breath; 

Thou  leddest  Orpheus  through  the  gleams 
of  death ; 

Thou  madest  Pluto  bear  thin  element; 

And  now,  O  winged  Chieftain  I  thou  hast 
sent  100 

A  moonbeam  to  the  deep,  deep  water- 
world. 

To  find  Endymion. 

On  gold  sand  impearl'd 
With  lily  shells,  and  pebbles  milky  white. 
Poor  Cynthia  greeted  him,  and  soothed  her 

light 
Against  his  pallid  face:  he  felt  the  charm 
To  breathlessness,  and  suddenly  a  warm 
Of  his  heart's  blood:  't  was  very  sweet;  he 

stay'd 
His  wandering  steps,  and   half-entranced 

laid 
His  head  upon  a  tuft  of  straggling  weeds, 


To  taste  the  gentle  moon,  and  freshening 
beads,  1 10 

Lash'd  from  the  crystal  roof  by  fishes' 
tails. 

And  so  he  kept,  until  the  rosy  veils 

Mantling  the  east,  by  Aurora's  peering 
hand 

Were  lifted  from  the  water's  breast,  and 
fann'd 

Into  sweet  air;  and  sober'd  morning  came 

Meekly  through  billows:  —  when  like  taper- 
flame 

Left  sudden  by  a  dallying  breath  of  air, 

He  rose  in  silence,  and  once  more  'gan  fare 

Along  his  fated  way. 

Far  had  he  roam'd» 
With  nothing  save  the  hollow  vast,   that 

foam'd  tao 

Above,  around,  and  at  his  feet;  save  things 
More  dead  than  Morpheus'  imaginings: 
Old  rusted  anchors,  helmets,  breastplates 

large 
Of  gone   sea- warriors ;  brazen  beaks  and 

targe; 
Rudders  that  for  a  hundred  years  had  lost 
The  sway  of  human  hand;  gold  vase  em- 

boss'd 
With  long-forgotten  story,  and  wherein 
No  reveller  had  ever  dipp'd  a  chin 
But  those  of  Saturn's  vintage;  mouldering 

scrolls. 
Writ  in  the   tongue  of  heaven,  by  thoM 

souls  tjo 

Who  first  were  on  the  earth ;  and  sculptures 

rude 
In  ponderous  stone,  developing  the  mood 
Of  ancient  Nox;  —  then  skeletons  of  man. 
Of  beast,  behemoth,  and  leviathan, 
And  elephant,  and  eagle,  and  huge  jaw 
Of  nameless  monster.     A  cold  leaden  awe 
These  secrets  struck  into  him;  and  unless 
Dian  had  chased  away  that  heaviness, 
He  might  have  died:  but  now,  with  cheered 

feel. 
He  onward  kept;  wooing  these  thoughts  to 

steal  (40 

About  the  labyrinth  in  his  soul  of  love. 


BOOK  THIRD 


8i 


*  What  is    there   in  thee,  Moon  !   that 

then  shonldst  move 
M7  heart  so  potently  ?     When  yet  a  child 
I  oft  have  dried  my  tears  when  thou  hast 

smiled. 
Thou  aeem'dst  my  sister:  hand  in  hand  we 

went 
From  ere  to  mom  across  the  firmament. 
No  apples  would  I  gather  from  the  tree, 
Till  thou  hadst  cool'd   their  cheeks   de- 

licioosly : 
Ko  tnmbling  water  ever  spake  romance, 
But  when  my  eyes  with  thine  thereon  could 

danoe:  150 

No  woods  were  green  enough,  no  bower 

divine. 
Until  thon  lif tedst  up  thine  eyelids  fine : 
Is  sowing-time  ne'er  would  I  dibble  take. 
Or  drop  a  seed,  till  thou  wast  wide  awake ; 
Andy  in  the  summer  tide  of  blossoming, 
No  one  hot  thee  hath  heard  me  blithely  sing 
And  mesh  my  dewy  flowers  all  the  night. 
No  melody  was  like  a  passing  spright 
If  it  went  not  to  solemnize  thy  reign. 
Tes,  in  my  boyhood,  every  joy  and  pain    160 
Bv  thee  were  fashioned  to  the  self-same  end ; 
Asd  ss  I  grew  in  years,  still  didst  thou 

blend 
With  all  my  ardours;  thou  wast  the  deep 

glen; 
IhoQ  wast  the  mountain-top  —  the  sage's 

pen  — 
Tke  poet's  harp  —  the  voice  of  friends  — 

the  sun; 
IhoQ  wast   the  river  —  thou   wast  glory 


Thoa  wast  my  clarion's  blast — thon  wast 

my  steed  — 
Hj  goblet    fall    of    wine  —  my  topmost 

deed:  — 
Ihoa  wist  the  charm  of  women,  lovely 

liooo! 
0  whst  a  wild  and  harmonized  tune         170 
^  spirit  ttroek  from  all  the  beautiful ! 
^  tone  bright  essence  oould  I  lean,  and 

hdl 
XjieH  to  immortality:  I  prest 
latue's  toft  pillow  in  a  wakeful  rest. 


But  gentle  Orb  !  there  came  a  nearer  bliss  — 
My  strange  love  came  —  Felicity's  abyss  ! 
She  came,  and  thou  didst  fade,  and  fade 

away  — 
Yet  not  entirely;  no,  thy  starry  sway 
Has  been  an  under-passion  to  this  hour. 
Now  I  beg^n  to  feel  thine  orby  power      180 
Is  coming  fresh  upon  me :  O  be  kind. 
Keep  back  thine  influence,  and  do  not  blind 
My  sovereign  vision.  —  Dearest  love,  for- 
give 
That  I  can  think  away  from  thee  and  live  !  — 
Pardon  me,  airy  planet,  that  I  prize 
One  thought  beyond  thine  argent  luxuries  ! 
How   far   beyond ! '     At  this  a  surprised 

start 
Frosted  the  springing  verdure  of  his  heart; 
For  as  he  lifted  up  his  eyes  to  swear 
How  his  own  goddess  was  past  all  things 

fair,  190 

He  saw  far  in  the  concave  green  of  the  sea 
An  old  man  sitting  calm  and  peacefully. 
Upon  a  weeded  rock  this  old  man  sat. 
And  his  white  hair  was  awful,  and  a  mat 
Of  weeds  were  cold  beneath  his  cold  thin 

feet; 
And,  ample  as  the  largest  winding-sheet, 
A  cloak  of  blue  wrapp'd  up  his  aged  bones, 
O'erwrought  with  symbols  by  the  deepest 

groans 
Of  ambitious  magic:  every  ocean-form 
Was   woven    in   with   black    distinctness; 

storm,  300 

And  calm,  and  whispering,  and  hideous  roar 
Quicksand,   and   whirlpool,   and    deserted 

shore 
Were  emblem'd  in  the  woof;  with  every 

shape 
That  skims,  or  dives,  or  sleeps,  'twixt  cape 

and  cape. 
The  gulphing  whale  was  like  a  dot  in  the 

spell. 
Yet  look   upon   it,  and   'twould  size   and 

swell 
To  its  hug^  self;  and  the  minutest  fish 
Would  pass  the  very  hardest  gazer's  wish, 
And  show  his  little  eye's  anatomy. 
Then  there  was  pictured  the  regality 


a  10 


82 


ENDYMION 


Of  Neptune;  and  the  sea-nymphs  round 

his  state. 
In  beauteous  vassalage,  look  up  and  wait 
Beside  this  old  man  lay  a  pearly  wand, 
And  in  his  lap  a  book,  the  which  he  conn'd 
So  steadfastly,  that  the  new  denizen 
Had  time  to  keep  him  in  amazed  ken, 
To  mark  these  shadowings,  and  stand  in 

awe. 

The  old  man  raised  his  hoary  head  and 

saw 
The  wilder'd  stranger — seeming  not  to 

see, 
His  features  were  so  lifeless.    Suddenly  aao 
He  woke  as  from  a  trance;  his  snow-white 

brows 
Went    arching  up,   and  like  two    magic 

ploughs 
FurroVd  deep  wrinkles  in  his  forehead 

large. 
Which  kept  as  fixedly  as  rocky  marge, 
Till  round  his  withered  lips  had  gone  a 

smile. 
Then  up  he  rose,  like  one  whose  tedious  toil 
Had  watch 'd  for  years  in  forlorn  hermitage, 
Who  had  not  from  mid-life  to  utmost  age 
Eased  in  one  accent  his  o'erburden'd  soul, 
Even   to  the  trees.     He  rose:  he  grasp'd 

his  stole,  330 

With  convulsed  clenches  waving  it  abroad. 
And  in  a  voice  of  solemn  joy,  that  awed 
Echo  into  oblivion,  he  said:  — 

*  Thou  art  the  man  I     Now  shall  I  lay 

my  head 
In  peace  upon  my  watery  pillow:  now 
Sleep  will  come  smoothly  to  my  weary 

brow. 
O  Jove  1    I  shall  be  young  again,  be  young  I 
O  shell-borne  Neptune,  I  am  pierced  and 

stung 
With  new-bom  life  !    What  shall  I  do  ? 

Where  go, 
When  I  have   cast   this  serpent-skin    of 

woe  ?  —  X40 

1 11  swim  to  the  sirens,  and  one  moment 

listen 


Their  melodies,  and  see  their  long  hair 

glisten; 
Anon  upon  that  giant's  arm  I  '11  be. 
That  writhes  about  the  roots  of  Sicily: 
To  northern  seas  1 11  in  a  twinkling  sail. 
And  mount  upon  the  snortings  of  a  whale 
To  some  black  cloud;  thence  down  111 

madly  sweep 
On  forked  lightning,  to  the  deepest  deep. 
Where  through  some  sucking  pool  I  will 

be  hurl'd 
With  rapture  to  the  other  side   of  the 

world  I  aso 

O,  I  am  full  of  gladness  !     Sisters  three, 
I  bow  full-hearted  to  your  old  decree  ! 
Yes,  every  god  be  thank'd,  and  power  be> 

nign. 
For  I  no  more  shall  wither,  droop,  and  pine. 
Thou  art  the  man  1 '    Endymion  started 

back 
Dismay'd ;  and,  like  a  wretch  from  whom 

the  rack 
Tortures  hot  breath,  and  speech  of  agony, 
Mutter'd :  <  What  lonely  death  am  I  to  die 
In  this  cold  region  ?    Will  he  let  me  freese. 
And  float  my  brittle  limbs  o'er  polar  seas  ? 
Or  will  he  touch  me  with  his  searing  hand, 
And  leave  a  black  memorial  on  the  sand  ? 
Or  tear  me  piecemeal  with  a  bony  saw,   a^ 
And  keep  me  as  a  chosen  food  to  draw 
His  magian  fish  through  hated  fire  and 

flame? 
O  misery  of  hell  I  resistless,  tame. 
Am  I  to  be  burnt  up  ?    No,  I  will  shoat. 
Until  the  gods  through  heaven's  blue  look 

out  I  — 
O  Tartarus  !  but  some  few  days  agone 
Her  soft  arms  were  entwining  me,  and  on 
Her  voice  I  hung  like  fruit  among  green 

leaves:  271 

Her  lips  were  all  my  own,  and  —  ah,  ripe 

sheaves 
Of  happiness  !  ye  on  the  stubble  droop, 
But  never  may  be  gamer'd.     I  must  stoop 
My  head,  and  kiss  death's  foot.     Love ! 

love,  farewell ! 
Is  there  no  hope  from  thee  ?    This  horrid 

spell 


BOOK  THIRD 


83 


Would  melt  at  thy  sweet  breath.  —  By 

Dian'a  hind 
Feeding  from  her  white  fingers,  on  the 


I  tee  thy  ttreaming  hair  I  and  now,  by 

I  care  sot  for  thie  old  mysterioos  man  1 '  aSo 

He  spake,  and  walking  to  that  aged  form, 
Look'd  high  defiance.    Lo  !  his  heart  'gan 


With  pity,  for  the    gray-hair'd    creature 

wept 
Had  he  then  wrong'd  a  heart  where  sorrow 

kept? 
Had   he,    though    blindly    contumelious, 

brought 
BWwni  to  kind  eyes,  a  sting  to  human 

thooght, 
CoBTnlsion  to  a  month  of  many  years  ? 
He  had  in  truth;  and  he  was  ripe  for  tears. 
The  penitent  shower  fell,  as  down  he  knelt 
Btfore  that  care-worn  sage,  who  trembling 

felt  390 

Aboat  his  large  dark  looks,  and  faltering 

spake: 

'Arise,  good  youth,  for  sacred  Phoebus' 
sake! 
I  know  thine  inmost  bosom,  and  I  feel 
A  foy  brother's  yearning  for  thee  steal 
lato  mine  own:  for  why  ?  thou  openest 
TW  prison  gates  that  have  so  long  opprest 
Mj  weary  watching.    Though  thou  know'st 

it  not, 
Thoa  art  oommission'd  to  this  fated  spot 
For  great  enfranchisement.     O  weep  no 

more  I 
1  «a  a  friend  to  lore,  to  loves  of  yore:     300 
A|e,  hadst  thou  neyer  loved  an  unknown 

power, 
Ikkl  been  grieving  at  this  joyous  hour. 
Bsk  efea  now  most  miserable  old, 
Imv  thse,and  my  blood  no  longer  cold 
Gate  nighty  pulses:  in  this  tottering  case 
^lew  a  new  heart,  which  at  this  moment 

pUys 
ii  dsaeia^y  as  thine.    Be  not  afraid. 


For  thou  shalt  hear  this  secret  all  display'd. 
Now  as  we  speed  towards  our  joyous  task.' 

So    saying,   this    young    soul    in   age's 

mask  310 

Went  forward  with  the  Carian  side  by  side: 

Resuming  quickly  thus;  while  ocean's  tide 

Hung  swollen  at  their  backs,  and  jewell'd 

sands 
Took  silently  their  foot-prints. 

*  My  soul  stands 
Now  past  the  midway  from  mortality. 
And  so  I  can  prepare  without  a  sigh 
To  tell  thee  briefly  all  my  joy  and  pain. 
I  was  a  fisher  once,  upon  this  main. 
And  my  boat  danced  in  every  creek  and  bay; 
Rough  billows  were  my  home  by  night  and 

day,  —  3ao 

The  sea-gulls  not  more  constant;  for  I  had 
No  housing  from  the  storm  and  tempests 

mad. 
But  hollow  rocks,  —  and  they  were  palaces 
Of  silent  happiness,  of  slumberous  ease: 
Long  years  of  misery  have  told  me  so. 
Aye,  thus  it  was  one  thousand  years  ago. 
One  thousand  years  I  —  Is  it  then  possible 
To  look  so  plainly  through  them  ?  to  dispel 
A  thousand  years  with  backward  glance 

sublime  ? 
To  breathe   away   as  't  were   all   scummy 

slime  330 

From  off  a  crystal  pool,  to  see  its  deep. 
And   one's  own   imag^   from   the   bottom 

peep  ? 
Yes:  now  I  am  no  longer  wretched  thrall, 
My  long  captivity  and  moanings  all 
Are  but  a  slime,  a  thin-pervading  scum, 
The  which  I  breathe  away,  and  thronging 

come 
Like  things  of  yesterday  my  youthful  plea- 
sures: 

*  I  touch'd  no  lute,  I  sang  not,  trod  no 

measures : 
I  was  a  lonely  youth  on  desert  shores. 
My  sports   were   lonely,   'mid  continuous 

roars,  340 


84 


ENDYMION 


And  craggy  isles,  and  sea-mew's  plaintive 

cry 
Plaining  discrepant  between  sea  and  sky. 
Dolphins  were  still  my  playmates;  shapes 

unseen 
Woald  let  me  feel  their  scales  of  gold  and 

green, 
Nor  be  my  desolation ;  and,  f nil  oft, 
When  a  dread  waterspout  had  rear'd  aloft 
Its  hungry  hugeness,  seeming  ready  ripe 
To  burst  with   hoarsest   thundering^,  and 

wipe 
My  life  away  like  a  vast  sponge  of  fate,  349 
Some   friendly   monster,   pitying    my   sad 

state, 
Has  dived  to  its  foundations,  gulf 'd  it  down. 
And  left  me  tossing  safely.    But  the  crown 
Of  all  my  life  was  utmost  quietude : 
More  did  I  love  to  lie  in  cavern  rude, 
Keeping  in  wait  whole  days  for  Neptune's 

voice, 
And  if  it  came  at  last,  hark,  and  rejoice  ! 
There  blush'd  no  summer  eve  but  I  would 

steer 
My  skiff  along  green  shelving  coasts,  to  hear 
The  shepherd's  pipe  come  clear  from  aery 

steep. 
Mingled   with   ceaseless    bleating^   of  his 

sheep:  360 

And  never  was  a  day  of  summer  shine, 
But  I  beheld  its  birth  upon  the  brine: 
For  I  would  watch  all  night  to  see  unfold 
Heaven's  gates,  and  iEthon  snort  his  morn- 
ing gold 
Wide  o'er  the  swelling  streams:  and  con- 
stantly 
At  brim  of  day-tide,  on  some  grassy  lea. 
My  nets  would  be  spread  out,  and  I  at  rest. 
The  poor  folk  of  the  sea-country  I  blest 
With  daily  boon  of  fish  most  delicate: 
They  knew  not  whence  this   bounty,  and 

elate  370 

Would   strew  sweet   flowers   on   a  sterile 

beach. 

'  Why  was  I  not  contented  ?     Wherefore 
reach 
At  things  which,  but  for  thee,  O  Latmian  ! 


Had  been  my  dreary  death  ?  Fool  I  I  began 
To  feel  distemper'd  longings:  to  desire 
The  utmost  privilege  that  ocean's  sire 
Could  grant  in  benediction :  to  be  free 
Of  all  his  kingdom.     Long  in  misery 
I  wasted,  ere  in  one  extremest  fit  379 

I  plunged  for  life  or  death.    To  interknit 
One's  senses  with  so  dense  a  breathing  stuff 
Might  seem  a  work  of  pain ;  so  not  enough 
Can  I  admire  how  crystal-smooth  it  felt, 
And  buoyant  round  my  limbs.     At  first  I 

dwelt 
Whole  days  and  days  in  sheer  astonishment; 
Forgetful  utterly  of  self-intent; 
Moving  but  with  the  mighty  ebb  and  flow. 
Then,  like  a  new-fledged  bird  that  first  doth 

show 
His  spreaded  feathers  to  the  morrow  chill, 
I  tried  in  fear  the  pinions  of  my  will.      390 
'T  was  freedom  !  and  at  once  I  visited 
The  ceaseless  wonders  of  this  ocean-bed. 
No  need  to  tell  tbee  of  them,  for  I  see 
That  thou  hast  been  a  witness  —  it  must  be 
For  these  I  know  thou   canst  not   feel  a 

drouth, 
By  the  melancholy  comers  of  that  mouth. 
So  I  will  in  my  story  straightway  pass 
To  more  immediate  matter.     Woe,  alas  ! 
That  love  should  be  my  bane  !     Ah,  Scyllit 

fair ! 
Why  did  poor  Glaucus  ever —  ever  dare  409 
To  sue  thee  to  his  heart  ?     Kind  strangei^ 

youth  ! 
I  loved  her  to  the  very  white  of  truth. 
And  she   would  not  conceive   it.     Timid 

thing ! 
She  fled  me  swift  as  sea-bird  on  the  wing. 
Round  every  isle,  and  point,  and  promon- 
tory, 
From  where  large  Hercules  woimd  up  his 

story 
Far  as  Egyptian  Nile.     My  passion  grew 
The  more,  the  more  I  saw  her  dainty  hue 
Gleam  delicately  through  the  azure  clear: 
Until  't  was  too  fierce  agony  to  bear;       410 
And  in  that  agony,  across  my  grief 
It  flash'd,  that  Circe  might  find  some 

lief  — 


BOOK  THIRD 


8S 


Cmel  enchaiitress  I    So  above  the  water 
I  reared  my  head,  and  look'd  for  PhoBbus' 

daughter. 
.£ca*a  iale  was  wondering  at  the  moon :  — 
It  seem'd  to  whirl  around  me,  and  a  swoon 
Left  me  dead-drifting  to  that  fatal  power. 

'When  I  awoke,   'twas  in  a  twilight 

bower; 
Just  when  the  light  of  morn,  with  hum  of 

bees. 
Stole  through   its  verdurous    matting  of 

fresh  trees.  420 

How  sweet,  and  sweeter  I  for  I  heard  a 

lyre, 
And  over  it  a  sighing  voice  expire. 
It  eeased  —  I  caught  light  footsteps ;  and 

anon 
IVe  fairest  face  that  mom  e'er  look'd  upon 
Posh'd  through  a  screen  of  roses.     Starry 

Jove  I 
With  tears,  and  smiles,  and  honey-words 

she  wove 
A  net  whose  thraldom  was  more  bliss  than 

all 
TW  range  of  flower'd  Elysium.     Thus  did 

faU 
The  dew  of  her  rich  speech:  "Ah !  art 

awake? 

0  let  me  hear  thee  speak,   for  Cupid's 
sake!  430 

1  am  so  oppress'd  with  joy  I    Why,  I  have 
shed 

Aa  on  of  tears,  as  though  thou  wert  cold 

dead; 
Aai  now  I  find  thee  living,  I  will  pour 
From  these  devoted  eyes  their  silver  store, 
Uitil  exhausted  of  the  latest  drop, 
So  it  will  pleasure  thee,  and  force   thee 

stop 
Hoe,  that  I  too  may  live:  but  if  beyond 
Sidi  eool  and  sorrowful  offerings,  thou  art 

fond 
Of  soothing  warmth,  of  dalliance  supreme; 
If  thou  art  ripe  to  taste  a  long  love-dream; 
If  noiles,  if  dimples,  tongues  for  ardour 

mate,  441 

Hug  ia  thy  vision  like  a  tempting  fruit. 


0  let  me  pluck  it  for  thee ! "   Thus  she 

link'd 
Her  charming  syllables,  till  indistinct 
Their  music   came   to   my   o'er-sweeten'd 

soul; 
And  then  she  hover'd  over  me,  and  stole 
So  near,  that  if  no  nearer  it  bad  been 
This  f urrow'd  visage  thou  hadst  never  seen. 

*  Young  man  of  Latmos  !  thus  particu- 

lar 

Am  I,  that  thou  may'st  plainly  see  how 
far  450 

This  fierce  temptation  went:  and  thou 
may'st  not 

Exclaim,  How,  then,  was  Scylla  quite  for- 
got ? 

*  Who  could  resist  ?     Who  in  this  uni- 

verse ? 
She  did  so  breathe  ambrosia;  so  immerse 
My  fine  existence  in  a  golden  clime. 
She  took  me  like  a  child  of  suckling  time, 
And   cradled    me    in    roses.      Thus    con- 

demn'd, 
The  current  of  my  former  life  was  stemm'd. 
And  to  this  arbitrary  queen  of  sense 

1  bow'd  a  tranced  vassal:  nor  would  thence 
Have  moved,  even  though  Aniphion's  harp 

had  woo'd  461 

Me  back  to  Scylla  o'er  the  billows  rude. 
For  as  Apollo  each  eve  doth  devise 
A  new  apparelling  for  western  skies; 
So  every  eve,  nay,  every  spendthrift  hour 
Shed     balmy    consciousness    within     that 

bower. 
And  I  was  free  of  haunts  umbrageous; 
Could  wander  in  the  mazy  forest-house 
Of  squirrels,  foxes  shy,  and  antler'd  deer, 
And    birds   from  coverts    innermost  and 
drear  470 

Warbling   for   very    joy   mellifluous    sor- 
row — 
To  me  new-bom  delights  ! 

*  Now  let  me  borrow. 
For  moments  few,  a  temperament  as  stern 
As  Pluto's  sceptre,  that  my  words  not  bum 


86 


ENDYMION 


These  uttering  lips,  while  I  in  calm  speech 

teU 
How  specious  heaven  was  changed  to  real 

helL 

*One  mom  she  left  me  sleeping:  half 

awake 
I  sought  for  her  smooth  arms  and  lips,  to 

slake 
My  greedy  thirst  with  nectarous  camel- 
draughts; 
But  she  was  gone.     Whereat  the  barbed 

shafts  480 

Of  disappointment  stuck  in  me  so  sore, 
That  out  I  ran  and  search'd  the  forest  o'er. 
Wandering  about  in  pine  and  cedar  gloom 
Damp  awe  assail'd  me;  for  there  'gan  to 

boom 
A  sound  of  moan,  an  ag^ny  of  sound, 
Sepulchral  from  the  distance  all  around. 
Then  came  a  conquering  earth-thunder,  and 

rumbled 
That  fierce  complain  to  silence:  while  I 

stumbled 
Down  a  precipitous  path,  as  if  impelPd. 
I  came    to  a    dark    valley.  —  Groanings 

swell'd  490 

Poisonous  about  my  ears,  and  louder  grew. 
The  nearer  I  approached  a  flame's  gaunt 

blue. 
That  glared  before  me  through  a  thorny 

brake. 
This  fire,  like  the  eye  of  gordian  snake, 
Bewitch'd   me   towards;   and   I   soon  was 

near 
A  sight  too  fearful  for  the  feel  of  fear: 
In  thicket  hid  I  cursed  the  haggard  scene  — 
The  banquet  of  my  arms,  my  arbour  queen. 
Seated  upon  an  uptom  forest  root; 
And  all  around  her  shapes,  wizard  and 

brute,  500 

Laughing,  and  wailing,  grovelling,  serpent- 

ing» 
Showing  tooth,  tusk,  and  venom-bag,  and 

sting ! 
O  such  deformities  I  old  Charon's  self. 
Should  he  g^ve  up  awhile  his  penny  pelf. 
And  take  a  dream  'mong  rushes  Stygian, 


It  could  not  be  so  f  antasied.    Fierce,  wan. 
And  tyrannizing  was  the  lady's  look. 
As  over  them  a  gnarled  staff  she  shook. 
Ofttimes  upon  the  sudden  she  laugh'd  out, 
And  from  a  basket  emptied  to  the  rout*  $10 
Clusters  of  gprapes,  the  which  they  raven'd 

quick 
And  roar'd  for  more;  with  many  a  hungiy 

lick 
About  their  shaggy  jaws.    Avenging,  slow, 
Anon  she  took  a  branch  of  mistletoe, 
And  emptied  on  't  a  black  dull-gurgling 

phial: 
Groan'd  one  and  all,  as  if  some  piercing 

trial 
Was  sharpening  for  their  pitiable  bones. 
She  lifted  up  the  charm:  appealing  g^roans 
From  their  poor  breasts  went  sueing  to  her 

ear 
In  vain;  remorseless  as  an  infant's  bier  sao 
She  whisk 'd  against  their  eyes  the  sooty 

oil. 
Whereat  was  heard  a  noise  of  painful  toil. 
Increasing  gradual  to  a  tempest  rage, 
Shrieks,  yells,  and  groans  of  torture-pil- 
grimage; 
Until  their  grieved  bodies  'gan  to  bloat 
And  puff  from  the  tail's  end  to  stifled 

throat: 
Then  was  appalling  silence:  then  a  sight 
More  wildering  than  all  that  hoarse  af- 
fright; 
For  the   whole  herd,  as  by  a  whirlwind 

writheu. 
Went  through  the  dismal  air  like  one  huge 

Python  S30 

Antagonizing  Boreas,  —  and  so  vanish'd. 
Tet  there  was  not  a  breath  of  wind:  she 

banish'd 
These  phantoms  with  a  nod.    Lo  I  from  the 

dark 
Came  waggish    fauns,  and  nymphs,  and 

satyrs  stark. 
With  dancing  and  loud  revelry,  —  and  went 
Swifter  than  centaurs  after  rapine  bent.  -» 
Sighing  an  elephant  appear'd  and  boVd 
Before  the  fierce  witch,  speaking  thus  aload 
In  human  accent:  **  Potent  goddess  I  chief 


BOOK  THIRD 


87 


Of  ptins  TesistleM  1  make  my  being  brief, 
Or  lei  me  from  this  heavy  prison  fly:      S4> 
Or  gire  me  to  the  air,  or  let  me  die  ! 
I  me  not  for  mj  happy  erown  again; 
I  me  not  for  my  phalanx  on  the  plain; 
I  me  not  fat  mj  lone,  my  widow'd  wife: 
I  me  not  for  my  roddy  drops  of  life. 
My  ehildren  fair,  my  lovely  girls  and  boys  I 
1  will  forget  them;  I  will  pass  these  joys; 
Ask  nought  so  heavenward,  so  too — too 

high: 
Only  I  i»ay,  as  fairest  boon,  to  die,         550 
Or  be  deliver'd  from  this  cumbrous  flesh, 
From  this  gross,  detestable,  filthy  mesh. 
Aid  merely  given  to  the  cold  bleak  air. 
Have  mercy.   Goddess  I    Circe,  feel    my 

iwayer ! " 

^Tbateorst  magician's  name  fell  icy  numb 
Upon  my  wild    conjecturing:    truth  had 


Kiked  and  sabre-like  against  my  heart. 

I  mw  a  fnry  whetting  a  death^iart; 

Aad  my  slain    spirit,  overwrought  with 

fright, 
Faisted  away  in  that  dark  lair  of  night.  560 
TViiky  my  deliverer,  how  desolate 
Mj  waking  mnst  have  been  I  disgust,  and 

hate, 
Aid  terrors  manifold  divided  me 
A  ipoQ  amongst  them.     I  prepared  to  flee 
Iito  the  dnngeon  core  of  that  wild  wood: 
I  U  three  days  —  when  lo  I  before  me 

stood 
GiuiBg  the  angry  witch.    O  IHs,  even  now, 
A  elaiuuj  dew  is  beading  on  my  brow, 
At  aere  remembering  her  pale  laugh,  and 


'Hal  ha!    Sir  Dainty!  there  must  be  a 


570 


MaJe  of  rose-leaves  and  thistle-down,  ex- 


Is  cmdle  thee  my  sweet,  and  lull  thee: 


yw» 


I  an  too  flin^-hard  for  thy  nice  touch: 
4  ttadeiest  sqoeexe  is  but  a  giant's  clutch. 
^fuiy-thittg,  it  shall  have  lullabies 
*  of  yet;  and  it  shall  still  its  cries 


Upon  some  breast  more  lily-feminine. 
Oh,  no  —  it  shall  not  pine,  and  pine,  and 

pine 
More  than  one  pretty,  trifling  thousand 

years; 
And  then  't  were  pity,  but  fate's  gentle 

shears  580 

Cut  short  its  immortality.     Sea^flirt ! 
Young  dove  of  the  waters  I  truly  I  '11  not 

hurt 
One  hair  of  thine:  see  how  I  weep  and  sigh. 
That  our  heart-broken  parting  is  so  nigh. 
And  must  we  part  ?     Ah,  yes,  it  must  be  so. 
Tet  ere  thou  leavest  me  in  utter  woe. 
Let  me  sob  over  thee  my  last  adieus. 
And  speak  a  blessing:  Mark  me  !  thou  hast 

thews 
Immortal,  for  thou  art  of  heavenly  race: 
But  such  a  love  is  mine,  that  here  I  chase 
Eternally  away  from  thee  all  bloom         591 
Of  youth,  and  destine  thee  towards  a  tomb. 
Hence   shalt  thou   quickly  to  the  watery 

vast; 
And  there,  ere  many  days  be  overpast. 
Disabled  age  shall  seize  thee;  and  even 

then 
Thou  shalt  not  go  the  way  of  ag^d  men ; 
But  live  and  wither,  cripple  and  still  breathe 
Ten  hundred  years:  which  g^ne,  I  then  be- 
queath 
Thy  fragile  bones  to  unknown  burial. 
Adieu,  sweet  love,  adieu !  "  —  As  shot  stars 

fall,  600 

She   fled   ere   I  could  groan    for   mercy. 

Stung 
And  poisoned  was  my  spirit:  despair  sung 
A  war-song  of  defiance  'gainst  all  hell. 
A  hand  was  at  my  shoulder  to  compel 
My  sullen  steps;  another  'fore  my  eyes 
Moved  on  with   pointed  finger.      In   this 

guise 
Enforced,  at  the  last  by  ocean's  foam 
I  found  me;  by  my  fresh,  my  native  home. 
Its  tempering  coolness,  to  my  life  akin. 
Came  salutary  as  I  waded  in;  610 

And,  with  a  blind  voluptuous  rage,  I  gave 
Battle  to  the    swollen    billow-ridge,  and 

drave 


88 


ENDYMION 


Large  froth  before  me,  while  there  yet 
remained 

Hale  strength,  nor  from  my  bones  all  mar- 
row drain'd. 

*  Young  lover,  I  must  weep  —  such  hell- 
ish spite 

With  dry  cheek  who  can  tell?  While 
thus  my  might 

Proving  upon  this  element,  dismay'd, 

Upon  a  dead  thing's  face  my  hand  I  laid ; 

I  look'd — 'twas  Scylla  !  Cursed,  cursed 
Circe  I 

0  vulture-witch,  hast  never  heard  of  mercy  ? 
Could  not  thy  harshest  vengeance  be  con- 
tent, 621 

But  thou  must  nip  this  tender  innocent 

Because  I  loved  her  ?  —  Cold,  O  cold  in- 
deed 

Were  her  fair  limbs,  and  like  a  common 
weed 

The  sea-swell  took  her  hair.  Dead  as  she 
was 

1  clung  about  her  waist,  nor  ceased  to  pass 
Fleet  as    an   arrow   through    unfathom'd 

brine. 

Until  there  shone  a  fabric  crystalline, 

Ribb'd  and  inlaid  with  coral,  pebble,  and 
pearl. 

Headlong  I  darted ;  at  one  eager  swirl    630 

Gained  its  bright  portal,  enter'd,  and  be- 
hold ! 

*T  was  vast,  and  desolate,  and  icy-cold ; 

And  all  around  —  But  wherefore  this  to 
thee 

Who  in  few  minutes  more  thyself  shalt 
see  ?  — 

I  left  poor  Scylla  in  a  niche  and  fled. 

My  fever*d  parchiugs  up,  my  scathing 
dread 

Met  palsy  half  way:  soon  these  limbs  be- 
came 

Gaunt,  wither'd,  sapless,  feeble,  cramp'd, 
and  lame. 

'  Now  let  me  pass  a  cruel,  cruel  space, 
Without  one   hope,  without  one   faintest 
trace  640 


Of  mitigation,  or  redeeming  babble 

Of  coloured  phantasy:  for  I  fear  'twould 

trouble 
Thy  brain  to  loss  of  reason:  and  next  tell 
How  a  restoring  chance  came  down  to  quell 
One  half  of  the  witch  in  me. 

<  On  a  day, 
Sitting  upon  a  rock  above  the  spray, 
I  saw  grow  up  from  the  horizon's  brink 
A  gallant  vessel:  soon  she  seem'd  to  sink 
Away  from  me  again,  as  though  her  coarse 
Had  been  resumed  in  spite  of   hindering 
force  —  650 

So  vanished:  and  not  long,  before  arose 
Dark  clouds,  and  muttering  of  winds  mo- 
rose. 
Old  ^olus  would  stifle  his  mad  spleen. 
But  could  not;  therefore,  all  the  billows 

g^en 
Toss'd   up   the   silver  spume  against  the 

clouds. 
The   tempest  came:   I   saw  that  vessel's 

shrouds 
In  perilous  bustle;  while  upon  the  deck 
Stood  trembling  creatures.     I  beheld  the 

wreck; 
The  final  gulfing;  the  poor  struggling  soals; 
I   heard   their  cries   amid   loud  thunder- 
rolls.  660 

0  they  had  all  been  saved  but  crazed  eld 
Annull'd  my  vigorous  cravings;  and  thus 

quell'd 
And  curb'd,  thiuk  on  't,  O  Latmian  I  did  I 

sit 
Writhing  with  pity,  and  a  cursing  fit 
Against  that  hell-born  Circe.     The   crew 

had  gone. 
By  one  and  one,  to  pale  oblivion; 
And  I  was  gazing  on  the  surges  prone, 
With  many  a  scalding  tear,  and  many  a 

groan, 
When  at  my  feet  emerged  an  old  man's 

hand. 
Grasping  this  scroll,  and  this  same  slender 

wand.  670 

1  knelt  with  pain  —  reach 'd  out  my  hand 

—  had  grasp'd 


BOOK  THIRD 


89 


t— touch'd  the  knuckles  — 
thej  nnelasp'd  — 
I  cangbt  a  finger:  bat  the  downward  weight 
Overpowered  me — it  sank.        Then  'gan 

abate 
The  storm,  and  through  chill  aguish  gloom 

CKitbarst 
Tbe  eomfbrtable  sun.     I  was  athirst 
To  search  tbe  book,  and  in  the  warming 

air 
Pkzted  its  dripping  leaves  with  eager  care. 
SCzinge  matters  did  it  treat  of,  and  drew 

on 
Mj  soul  page  after  page,  till  well  nigh 
won  680 

loto  forgetfalness;  when,  stupefied, 
I  read  these  words,  and  read  again,  and 

tried 
Hj  ejes  against  the  heavens,  and  read 

again. 
0  whet  a  load  of  misery  and  pain 
Eich  Atlas-line  bore  off  !  —  a  shine  of  hope 
Cime  gold  around   me,   cheering  me   to 

cope 
Stiemioas  with  hellish  tyranny.     Attend  I 
For  thoQ  hast  brought  their  promise  to  an 
end.' 

h  tie  wide  tea  there  lives  a  forlorn  wretch, 
Bmm^d  witk  enfeMed  caraue  to  outstretch  690 
Bit  loathed  existence  through  ten  centuries, 
Aad  then  to  die  alone.     Who  can  devise 
i  Uo/  oppceition  f    No  one.     So 
tW  nZZiofi  times  ocean  must  ebb  and  flow, 
^^  he  oppressed.     Yet  he  shall  not  die, 
Tim  things  aeeompUsh'd :  —  If  he  utterly 
Sums  all  (he  depths  of  magic,  and  expounds 
He  meamngs  cf  all  motions,  shapes,  and 

sounds  ; 
^it  explores  aU  forms  and  substances 
^N^  homeward  to  their  symbol-essences  ; 
^fkaUnot  die.    Moreover,  and  in  chief ,  701 
"Bawl  pvmie  this  task  of  joy  and  grief 
\^fimidy  ; — aU  lovers  tempest-tost, 
^mthe  savage  overwhelming  lost, 
^'haU  deposit  side  by  side,  wUil 
^9  creeping  shall  the  dreary  space  fulfil : 
^  dme,  and  all  these  labours  ripened. 


A  youth,  by  heavenly  power  loved  and  led. 
Shall  stand  before  him  ;  whom  he  shall  direct 
How  to  consummate  all.     The  youth  elect  710 
Must    do    the    thing,   cr    both  will  be  de^ 
stroy*d.  — 

<  Then,'  cried  the  young  Endymion,  over- 

'  We  are  twin  brothers  in  this  destiny  I 
Say,  I  entreat  thee,  what  achievement  high 
Is,  in  this  restless  world,  for  me  reserved. 
What  I  if  from  thee  my  wandering  feet 

had  swerved. 
Had   we   both  perish'd  ?  *  —  *  Look  !  *   the 

sage  replied, 
<  Dost  thou  not  mark  a  gleaming  through 

the  tide, 
Of  divers  brilliances  ?  't  is  the  edifice 
I  told  thee  of,  where  lovely  Scylla  lies;  720 
And  where  I  have  enshrined  piously 
All  lovers,  whom  fell  storms  have  doom'd 

to  die 
Throughout  my  bondage.'     Thus  discours- 
ing, on 
They   went  till  unobscured    the    porches 

shone ; 
Which  hurryingly  they  gain'd,  and  enter'd 

straight. 
Sure  never  since  king  Neptune   held  his 

state 
Was    seen  such   wonder    uDdemeath   the 

stars. 
Turn  to  some  level  plain  where  haughty 

Mars 
Has  legion'd  all  his  battle;  and  behold 
How   every  soldier,  with  firm   foot,  doth 
hold  730 

His  even  breast:  see,  many  steeled  squares. 
And  rigid  ranks   of  iron  —  whence   who 

dares 
One  step  ?     Imagine  further,  line  by  line, 
These  warrior  thousands  on  the  field  su- 
pine:— 
So  in  that  crystal  place,  iu  silent  rows. 
Poor  lovers  lay   at    rest  from    joys   and 

woes. — 
The  stranger  from  the  mountains,  breath- 
less, traced 


90 


ENDYMION 


Saoh  thousandB  of  shut  eyes  in  order 
placed; 

Saoh  ranges  of  white  feet,  and  patient  lips 

All  ruddy,  —  for  here  death  no  hlossom 
nips.  740 

He  mark'd  their  hrows  and  foreheads;  saw 
their  hair 

Pot  sleekly  on  one  side  with  nicest  care; 

And  each  one's  gentle  wrists,  with  rever- 
ence, 

Put  cross-wise  to  its  heart. 

*  Let  us  commence,' 
Whisper'd  the  g^ide,  stuttering  with  joy, 

*  even  now.* 
He  spake,  and,  trembling  like  an  aspen- 
bough, 
Began  to  tear  his  scroll  in  pieces  small, 
Uttering  the  while  some  mumblings  fu- 
neral. 
He  tore  it  into  pieces  small  as  snow 
That  drifts  unfeather'd  when  bleak  north- 
ems  blow;  750 
And  having  done  it,  took  his  dark  blue 

cloak 
And  bound  it  round  Endymion :  then  struck 
His    wand   against   the  empty  air  times 

nine.  — 
'  What  more  there  is  to  do,  young  man,  is 

thine: 
But  first  a  little  patience;  first  undo 
This  tangled  thread,  and  wind  it  to  a  clue. 
Ah,  gentle  1  't  is  as  weak  as  spider's  skein; 
And  shouldst  thou  break  it  —  What,  is  it 

done  so  clean  ? 
A  power  overshadows  thee  I    Oh,  brave  I 
The  spite  of  hell  is  tumbling  to  its  grave. 
Here  is  a  shell;  't  is  pearly  blank  to  me,   761 
Nor  mark'd  with  any  sign  or  charactery  — 
Canst  thou  read  aught  ?    O  read  for  pity's 

sake  I 
Olympus  I    we  are  safe  I     Now,   Carian, 

break 
This  wand  against  yon  lyre  on  the  pedes- 
tal.' 

Twas  done:  and  straight  with  sadden 
swell  and  fall 


Sweet  music  breathed  her  sool  awaj, 

sigh'd 
A  lullaby  to  silence.  — '  Youth  I  now  strew 
These  minced  leaves  on  me,  and  passing 

through 
Those   files   of   dead,  scatter   the   same 

around,  770 

And  thou  wilt  see  the  issue.'  —  'Mid  the 

sound 
Of  flutes  and  viols,  ravishing  his  heart, 
Endymion  from  Glaucas  stood  apart, 
And  scatter'd  in  his  face  some  tegmenta 

light. 
How  lightning-swift  the  change  I  a  yoatk- 

ful  wight 
Smiling  beneath  a  coral  diadem, 
Out-sparkling  sudden  like  an  uptum'd  gem, 
Appear'd,  and,  stepping   to  a  beaateoos 

corse, 
Eneel'd  down  beside  it,  and  with  tenderest 

force 
Fress'd  its  cold    hand,  and  wept,  —  and 

Scylla  sigh'd !  780 

Endymion,  with  quick  hand,  the  charm  ap- 
plied— 
The  nymph  arose:  he  left  them  to  their  joy. 
And  onward  went  upon  his  high  employ, 
Showering  those  powerful   fragments  on 

the  dead. 
And,  as  he  pass'd,  each  lifted  up  its  head, 
As  doth  a  flower  at  Apollo's  touch. 
Death  felt  it  to  his  inwards:  'twas  too 

much: 
Death  fell  a-weeping  in  his  chamel-hoose. 
The  Latmian  persevered  along,  and  thus 
All  were  reanimated.    There  arose  799 

A  noise  of  harmony,  pulses  and  throes 
Of  gladness  in  the  air  —  while  many,  who 
Had  died  in  mutual  arms  devout  and  tme^ 
Sprang  to  each  other  madly;  and  the  rest 
Felt  a  high  certainty  of  being  blest. 
They  gazed  upon  Endymion.      Enchant- 
ment 
Grew  drunken,  and  would  have  its 

and  bent. 
Delicious  symphonies,  like  airy  flowers, 
Budded,  and  swell'd,  and,  full-blown, 

full  showers 


BOOK  THIRD 


91 


Of  hf^at,  softy  onteeii  leaves  of  sounds 
diTine.  800 

Thm  two  delivexeis  tasted  a  pore  wine 
Of  happmesi,  from  fiury  press  oozed  oat. 
Speeehless  they  eyed  each  other,  and  about 
TW  fair  assembly  wandered  to  and  fro, 
Diitraeted  with  the  riehest  overflow 
Of  joy  thai  ever  pour'd  from  heaven. 

*  Away  ! ' 

ShoQted  the  new  bom  god;  *  Follow,  and 

Ow  piety  to  Neptunus  supreme  I '  — 
Then  Seylla,  blushing  sweetly  from  her 

dream. 
They  led  on  first,  bent  to  her  meek  sur- 
prise, 810 
Thioagh  portal  columns  of  a  giant  size 
Iito  the  vaolted,  boundless  emerald. 
Joyoos  all  follow'd,  as  the  leader  call'd, 
Dmni  marble  steps;  pouring  as  easily 
Ai  hour-glass    sand  —  and    fast,  as    you 

might  see 
SemDows  obeying  the  south  summer's  call. 
Or  fwsns  upon  a  gentle  waterfall. 


Thus  went  that  beautiful  multitude,  nor 

ft, 

£ie  from  among  some  rocks  of  glittering 


819 

^■at  within  ken,  they  saw  descending  thick 
Aaother  moltitade.    Whereat  more  quick 
Kefcd  either  host.    On  a  wide  sand  they 

met, 
Aid  of  those  numbers  every  eye  was  wet; 
IW  cadi  their  old  love  found.    A  mur- 


ine what  was  never  heard    in   all  the 

throes 
Of  wiod  and  waters:  'tis  past  human  wit 
TtteD;  *t  is  dissiness  to  Uiink  of  it. 

Ihii  mighty  eonsummation  made,  the 

host 
«*ved  on  for  many  a  league;  and  gain'd 
sad  lost 

tea-marks;    vanward    swelling   in 
tnay,  830 


And  from  the  rear  diminishing  away,  — 
Till  a  faint  dawn  surprised  them.    Glaucus 

cried, 
<  Behold  I  behold,  the  palace  of  his  pride  I 
Grod  Neptune's  palaces.'    With  noise  in- 
creased. 
They  shoulder'd  on  towards  that  brighten- 
ing east. 
At  every  onward  step  proud  domes  arose 
In  prospect,  —  diamond  gleams  and  golden 

glows 
Of  amber  'gainst  their  faces  levelling. 
Joyous,  and  many  as  the  leaves  in  spring. 
Still  onward;  still  the  splendour  gradual 
sweird.  840 

Rich  opal  domes  were  seen,  on  high  upheld 
By  jasper    pillars,  letting  through    their 

shafts 
A  blush  of  coral.    Copious  wonder-draughts 
Each  gazer  drank;  and  deeper  drank  more 

near: 
For  what  poor  mortals  fragment  up,  as 

mere 
As  marble  was  there  lavish,  to  the  vast 
Of  one  fair  palace,  that  far,  far  surpass'd, 
Even  for  common  bulk,  those  olden  three, 
Memphis,  and  Babylon,  and  Nineveh. 

As  large,  as  bright,  as  colour'd  as  the 

bow  850 

Of  Iris,  when  unfading  it  doth  show 
Beyond  a  silvery  shower,  was  the  arch 
Through  which  this  Papbian  army  took  its 

march. 
Into  the  outer  courts  of  Neptune's  state  : 
Whence  could  be  seen,  direct,  a  golden 

gate. 
To  which  the  leaders  sped;  but  not  half 

raught 
Ere  it  burst  open  swift  as  fairy  thought. 
And  made  those  dazzled  thousands  veil 

their  eyes 
Like  callow  eagles  at  the  first  sunrise. 
Soon  with  an  eagle  nativeness  their  gaze   860 
Ripe  from  hue-golden  swoons  took  all  the 

blaze, 
And  then,  behold  I  large  Neptune  on  his 

throne 


92 


ENDYMION 


Of  emerald  deep:  yet  not  exalt  alone; 

At  his  right  hand  stood  winged  Love, and  on 

His  left  sat  smiling  Beauty's  paragon. 

Far  as  the  mariner  on  highest  mast 
Can  see  all  round  upon  the  calmed  vast, 
So  wide  was  Neptune's  hall:  and  as  the  blue 
Doth  vault  the  waters,  so  the  waters  drew 
Their  doming  curtains,  high,  magnificent,  870 
Awed  from  the  throne  aloof; — and  "^iv^hen 

storm  rent 
Disclosed  the  thunder-gloomingps  in  Jove's 

air; 
But  soothed  as  now,  flash'd  sudden  every- 
where, 
Noiseless,  sub-marine  cloudlets,  glittering 
Death  to  a  human  eye:  for  there  did  spring 
From  natural  west,  and  east,  and  south,  and 

north, 
A  light  as  of  four  sunsets,  blazing  forth 
A  gold-green  zenith  'bove  the  Sea-God's 

head. 
Of  lucid  depth  the  floor,  and  far  outspread 
As    breezeless    lake,   on  which   the    slim 

canoe  880 

Of  feather'd  Indian  darts  about,  as  through 
The  delicatest  air:  air  verily. 
But  for  the  portraiture  of  clouds  and  sky: 
This  palace  floor  breath-air,  —  but  for  the 

amaze 
Of  deep-seen   wonders   motionless,  —  and 

blaze 
Of  the  dome  pomp,  reflected  in  extremes, 
Globing  a  golden  sphere. 

They  stood  in  dreams 

Till  Triton  blew  bis  horn.    The  palace  rang; 

The  Nereids  danced;  the  Sirens  faintly 
sang; 

And  the  great  Sea-Eing  bow'd  his  dripping 
head.  890 

Then  Love  took  wing,  and  from  his  pinions 
shed 

On  all  the  multitude  a  nectarous  dew. 

The  ooze-born  Goddess  beckoned  and  drew 

Fair  Scylla  and  her  guides  to  conference; 

And  when  they  reach'd  the  throned  emi- 
nence 


She  kiss'd  the  sea-nymph's  cheek,  —  who 

sat  her  down 
A-toying  with  the  doves.    Then,  —  *  Mighty 

crown 
And  sceptre  of    this    kingdom  I '    Venus 

said, 
<  Thy  vows  were  on  a  time  to  Nais  paid: 
Behold  I ' — Two  copious  tear-drops  instant 

fell  900 

From  the  God's  large  eyes;  he  smiled  de- 
lectable, 
And  over  Glaucus  held  his  blessing  hands.  — 
'  Fndymion  I     Ah  I  still  wandering  in  the 

bands 
Of  love  ?    Now  thi^  is  cruel.     Since  the 

hour 
I  met  thee  in  earth's  bosom,  all  my  power 
Have  I  put  forth  to  serve  thee.     What,  not 

yet 
Escaped  from  dull  mortality's  harsh  net  ? 
A  little  patience,  youth  I 't  will  not  be  long. 
Or  I  am  skilless  quite:  an  idle  tongue, 
A  humid  eye,  and  steps  luxurious,  910 

Where   these   are   new  and    strange,  are 

ominous. 
Aye,  I  have   seen  these   signs  in  one  of 

heaven. 
When  others  were  all  blind;  and  were  I 

g^ven 
To  utter  secrets,  haply  I  might  say 
Some  pleasant  words:  —  but  Love  will  have 

his  day. 
So  wait  awhile  expectant.     Pr'ythee  sood. 
Even  in  the  passing  of  thine  honey-moon. 
Visit  thou  my  Cytherea:  thou  wilt  find 
Cupid  well-natured,  my  Adonis  kind; 
And  pray  persuade  with  thee  —   Ah,  I  have 

done,  910 

All  blisses  be  upon  thee,  my  sweet  son  I '  — 
Thus  the  fair  goddess:  while  Endymion 
Knelt  to  receive  those  accents  halcyon. 

Meantime  a  glorious  revelry  began 
Before  the  Water-Monarch.     Nectar  ran 
In  courteous    fountains  to  all  cups  oaV- 

reach'd; 
And  plunder'd  vines,  teeming  exhaostleniy 

pleach'd 


BOOK  THIRD 


93 


New  growth  aboat  each  shell  and  pendent 

lyre; 
The  whiohy  in  disentangling  for  their  fire, 
hdl'd  down  fresh  foliage  and  coverture  930 
For  dainty  toying.     Capid,  empire-sure, 
Ffaitter'd  and  laugh'dj^and  oft-times  through 

the  throng 
Made  a  delighted  way.    Then  dance,  and 

song, 
And  garianding,  grew  wild;  and  pleasure 

reign'd. 
Ib  harmless  tendril  they  each  other  chained, 
And  strore  who  should  be  smother' d  deep- 
est in 
Fresh  erash  of  leaves. 

O  't  is  a  very  sin 
For  one  so  weak  to  venture  his  poor  verse 
In  such  a  place  as  this.     O  do  not  curse,   939 
High  Moses  I  let  him  hurry  to  the  ending. 

AU  suddenly  were  silent.    A  soft  blend- 
ing 
Of  dulcet  instruments  came  charmingly; 
And  then  a  hymn. 

'  King  of  the  stormy  sea ! 
Brother  of  Jove,  and  co-inheritor 
Of  elements  I     Eternally  before 
Thee  the  waves  awful  bow.     Fast,  stubborn 

rock, 
Atthy  fear'd  trident  shrinking,  doth  unlock 
ht  deep  foundations,  hissing  into  foam. 
All  noantain-rivers,  lost  in  the  wide  home 
Of  thy  eapacions  bosom,  ever  flow.  950 

Thou  frownest,  and  old  .£olus  thy  foe 
Skilks  to  his  cavern,  'mid  the  gruff  com- 
plaint 
Of  ill  his  rebel  tempests.      Dark  clouds 

faint 
When,  from  thy  diadem,  a  silver  gleam 
Sutft  over  blue   dominion.      Thy  bright 

team 
Glib  in  the  morning  light,  and  scuds  along 
To  bring  thee  nearer  to  that  golden  song 
AyoHo  singeth,  while  his  chariot 
^uts  at  the  doors  of  heaven.    Thou  art 
not 


For  scenes  like  this:  an  empire  stem  hast 
thou;  960 

And  it  hath  furrow'd  that  large  front:  yet 
now. 

As  newly  come  of  heaven,  dost  thou  sit 

To  blend  and  interknit 

Subdued  majesty  with  this  glad  time. 

O  shell-borne  King  sublime  ! 

We  lay  our  hearts  before  thee  evermore  — 

We  sing,  and  we  adore  ! 

<  Breathe  softly,  flutes; 
Be  tender  of  your  strings,   ye    soothing 

lutes; 
Nor   be  the   trumpet  heard !   O   vain,   O 

vain;  970 

Not  flowers  budding  in  an  April  rain. 
Nor  breath  of  sleeping  dove,  nor  river's 

flow,  — 
No,  nor  the  .^lolian  twang  of  Liove's  own 

bow. 
Can  mingle  music  fit  for  the  soft  ear 
Of  goddess  Cytherea ! 
Tet  deign,  white  Queen  of  Beauty,  thy  fair 

eyes 
On  our  soul's  sacrifice. 

*  Bright-winged  Child  I 

Who  has  another  care  when  thou  hast 
smiled  ? 

Unfortunates  on  earth,  we  see  at  last       980 

All  death-shadows,  and  glooms  that  over- 
cast 

Our  spirits,  fann'd  away  by  thy  light  pin- 
ions. 

O  sweetest  essence  !  sweetest  of  all  min- 
ions ! 

God  of  warm  pulses,  and  dishevell'd  hair. 

And  panting  bosoms  bare  ! 

Dear  unseen  light  iu  darkness  I  eclipser 

Of  light  in  light !  delicious  poisoner  ! 

Thy  venom'd  goblet  will  we  quaff  until 

We  fill  —  we  till !  989 

And  by  thy  Mother's  lips ' 

Was  heard  no  more 
For  clamour,  when  the  gulden  palace  door 
Open'd  ag^in,  and  from  without,  in  shone 


94 


ENDYMION 


A  new  magnificence.    On  oozy  throne 
Smooth-moving  came  Oceanus  the  old, 
To  take  a  latest  glimpse  at  his  sheepfold, 
Before  he  went  into  his  quiet  cave 
To  mnse  for  ever  —    Then  a  lucid  wave, 
Scoop'd  from  its  trembling  sisters  of  mid- 
sea, 
Afloat,  and  pillowing  up  the  majesty 
Of  Doris,  and  the  iBgean  seer,  her  spouse  — 
Next,  on  a  dolphin,  clad  in  laurel  boughs, 
Theban  Amphion  leaning  on  his  lute:     1002 
His  fingers  went  across  it  —  All  were  mute 
To  gaze  on  Amphitrite,  queen  of  pearls, 
And  Thetis  pearly  too.  — 

The  palace  whirls 
Around  giddy  Endymion;  seeing  he 
Was  there  far  strayed  from  mortality. 
He  could  not  bear  it  —  shut  his  eyes  in 

vain; 
Imagination  gave  a  dizzier  pain. 
<  O  I  shall  die  I  sweet  Venus,  be  my  stay  ! 
Where    is    my    lovely    mistress?     Well- 
away  !  10 1 1 
I  die  —  I    hear    her    voice  —  I    feel  my 

wing — * 
At  Neptune's  feet    he   sank.     A  sudden 

ring 
Of  Nereids  were  about  him,  in  kind  strife 
To  usher  back  his  spirit  into  life: 
But  still  he  slept.    At  last  they  interwove 
Their  cradling  arms,  aud  purposed  to  con- 
vey 
Towards  a  crystal  bower  far  away. 

LfO  I  while  slow  carried  through  the  pity- 
ing crowd. 
To  his  inward  senses  these  words  spake 
aloud;  loao 

Written  in  starlight  on  the  dark  above: 
*  Dearest  Endymion  /  my  entire  love  ! 
How  have  I  dwelt  in  fear  of  fate ;   *t  is 

done  — 
Immortal  bliss  for  me  too  hast  thou  won. 
Arise  then!  for    the    hen -dove    shall   not 

hatch 
Her  ready  eggs,  before  I  *U  kissing  snatch 
Thee  into  endless  heaven.    Awake  !  awake  !' 


The  youth  at  once  arose:  a  placid  lake 
Came  quiet  to  his  eyes;  and  forest  green. 
Cooler  than  all  the  wonders  he  had  seen, 
Lull'd  with  its  simple  song  his  fluttering 
breast.  ao3i 

How  happy  onoe  agam  in  grassy  nest ! 


BOOK   IV 

Muse  of  my  native  land  I  loftiest  Mnse  I 
O  first-bom  on  the  mountains  I    by  the 

hues 
Of  heaven  on  the  spiritual  air  begot: 
Long  didst  thou  sit  alone  in  northern  grot. 
While  yet  our  England  was  a  wolfish  den; 
Before  our  forests  heard  the  talk  of  men; 
Before  the  first  of  Druids  was  a  child;  — 
Long  didst  thou  sit  amid  our  regions  wild. 
Rapt  in  a  deep  prophetic  solitude. 
There  came  an  eastern  voice  of  solemn 

mood :  —  10 

Tet  wast  thou  patient.    Then  sang  forth 

the  Nine, 
Apollo's  garland:  —  yet  didst  thou  divine 
Such  home-bred  glory,  that  they  cried  in 

vain, 
'  Come  hither.  Sister  of  the  Island  I '  Flam 
Spake  fair  Ausonia;  and  once  more  she 

spake 
A  higher  summons: — still  didst  thou  be- 
take 
Thee  to  thy  native  hopes.    O  thou  haai 

won 
A  full    accomplishment  I      The    thing  ia 

done. 
Which  undone,  these  onr  latter  days  had 

risen 
On  barren  souls.  Great  Muse,  thou  know^ 

what  prison  m 

Of  flesh  and  bone,  curbs,  and  confines,  and 

frets 
Our  spirits'  wings:  despondency  besets 
Our  pillows;  and  the  fresh  to-morrow  mona 
Seems  to  give  forth  its  light  in  very  soom 
Of  our  dull,  uninspired,  snail-paced  lives. 
Long  have    I  said,  how    happy  he  wh9 

shrives 


BOOK   FOURTH 


95 


To  thee!    But  then  I  thought  on  poets 


And  eoold  not  piay: — nor  can  I  now  —  so 


I  more  to  the  end  in  lowliness  of  heart.  — 

'Ah,  woe  18  me!  that  I  should  fondly 
part  30 

From  my  dear  native  land!  Ah,  foolish 
maid! 

Glad  was  the  hour,  when,  with  thee,  myri- 
ads hade 

Adieu  to  Gauges  and  their  pleasant  fields  ! 

To  one  so  friendless  the  clear  freshet 
yields 

A  bitter  coolness;  the  ripe  grape  is  sour: 

Tet  I  would  have,  great  gods  I  hut  one 
short  hour 

Of  mtiTe  air  —  let  me  but  die  at  home.* 

Eadymion  to  heaven's  airy  dome 
Wu  offering  up  a  hecatomb  of  vows, 
When  these  words  reach'd  him.    Where- 
upon he  bows  40 
Hii  head  through  thorny-green  entangle- 
ment 
Of  mderwcMd,  and  to  the  sound  is  bent, 
AuioQS  as  hind  towards  her  hidden  fawn. 

*Is  no  one  near  to  help  me  ?     No  fair 

dawn 
Of  life  from  charitable  voice  ?    No  sweet 

saying 
To  let  my  dull  and  sadden'd  spirit  playing  ? 
Ho  lumd  to  toy  with  mine  ?    No  lips  so 

sweet 
IWt  I  may  worship  them?    No  eyelids 

meet 
To  twinkle  on  my  bosom  ?    No  one  dies 
Beloie  me,  till  irom  these  enslaving  eyes  50 
^emptwn  sparkles!  —  I    am   sad    and 

Ihoa,  Carian  lord,  hadst  better  have  been 
tost 
hi  a  whiripool.    Vanish  into  air, 
Mwrm  mouitauieer !  for  canst  thou  only 


A  woman's  sigh  alone  and  in  distress  ? 
See  not  her  charms!    Is  PhoBbe  passion- 
less? 
PhoBbe  is  fairer  far — O  gaze  no  more:  — 
Yet  if  thou  wilt  behold  all  beauty's  store. 
Behold  her  panting  in  the  forest  grass  ! 
Do  not  those  curls  of  glossy  jet  surpass    60 
For  tenderness  the  arms  so  idly  lain 
Amongst  them?    Feelest  not  a  kindred 

pain, 
To  see  such  lovely  eyes  in  swimming  search 
After  some  vrarm  delight,  that  seems  to 

perch 
Dovelike  in  the  dim  cell  lying  beyond 
Their  upper  lids  ?  —  Hist ! 

*  O  for  Hermes'  wand. 
To  touch  this  flower  into  human  shape  I 
That  woodland  Hyacinthus  could  escape 
From  his  green  prison,  and  here  kneeling 

down 
Call  me  his  queen,  his  second  life's  fair 

crown  !  70 

Ah  me,  how  I  could  love  !  —  My  soul  doth 

melt 
For  the  unhappy  youth  —  Love  !     I  have 

felt 
So  faint  a  kindness,  such  a  meek  surrender 
To  what  my  own  full  thoughts  had  made 

too  tender. 
That  but  for  tears  my  life  had  fled  away  ! 
Te  deaf  and  senseless  minutes  of  the  day, 
And  thou,  old  forest,  hold  ye  this  for  true. 
There  is  no  lightning,  no  authentic  dew 
But  in  the  eye  of  love:  there 's  not  a  sound. 
Melodious  howsoever,  can  confound  80 

The  heavens  and  earth  in  one  to  such  a 

death 
As  doth  the  voice  of  love:  there  's  not  a 

breath 
Will  mingle  kindly  with  the  meadow  air. 
Till  it  has  panted  round,  and  stolen  a  share 
Of  passion  from  the  heart ! '  — 

Upon  a  bough 
He  leant,  wretched.    He  surely  cannot  now 
Thirst  for  another  love :  O  impious, 
That  he  can  even  dream  upon  it  thus !  — 


96 


ENDYMION 


Thought  he,  <Why  am  I  not  as  are  the 

dead. 
Since  to  a  woe  like  this  I  have  heen  led    90 
Through  the  dark  earth,  and  through  the 

wondrous  sea  ? 
Goddess !  I  love  thee  not  the  less:  from 

thee 
By  Juno's  smile  I  turn  not  —  no,  no,  no  — 
While  the  great  waters  are  at  ehh   and 

flow.  — 
I  have  a  triple  soul !  O  fond  pretence  — 
For  both,  for  both  my  love  is  so  immense, 
I  feel  my  heart  is  cut  for  them  in  twain.' 

And  so  he  groan'd,  as  one  by  beauty 

slain. 
The  lady's  heart  beat  quick,  and  he  could 

see 
Her  gentle  bosom  heave  tumultuously.    100 
He  sprang  from  his  green  covert:   there 

she  lay, 
Sweet  as  a  musk-rose  upon  new-made  hay; 
With  all  her  limbs  on  tremble,  and  her 

eyes 
Shut  softly  up  alive.     To  speak  he  tries: 
'  Fair  damsel,  pity  me  !  forgive  that  I 
Thus  violate  thy  bower's  sanctity  I 

0  pardon  me,  for  I  am  full  of  grief  — 
Grief  bom  of  thee,  young  angel !  fairest 

thief! 
Who  stolen  hast  away  the  wings  where- 
with 

1  was  to  top  the  heavens.     Dear  maid,  sith 
Thou  art  my  executioner,  and  I  feel         m 
Loving  and  hatred,  misery  and  weal. 
Will  in  a  few  short  hours  be  nothing  to  me. 
And  all  my  story  that  much  passion  slew 

me; 
Do  smile  upon  the  evening  of  my  days; 
And,  for  my  tortured  brain  begins  to  craze. 
Be  thou  my  nurse;  and  let  me  understand 
How  dying  I  shall  kiss  that  lily  band.  — 
Dost  weep  for  me  ?     Then  should  I  be  con- 
tent. 
Scowl  on,  ye  fates  !  until  the  firmament    120 
Outblackens  Erebus,  and  the  full-cavem'd 

earth 
Crumbles  into  itself.     By  the  cloud-g^h 


Of  Jove,  those  tears  have  given  me  a  thirst 
To  meet  oblivion.'  —  As  her  heart  would 

burst 
The  maiden  sobb'd  awhile,  and  then  re- 
plied: 
'  Why  must  such  desolation  betide 
As  that  thou  speakest  of  ?    Are  not  these 

g^en  nooks 
Empty  of  all  misfortune  ?     Do  the  brooks 
Utter    a    gorgon    voice  ?       Does  yonder 

thrush, 
Schooling  its   half-fledged  little  ones    to 

brush  130 

About  the  dewy  forest,  whisper  tales  ?  — 
Speak  not  of  grief,  young  stranger,  or  cold 

snails 
Will  slime  the  rose  to-night.     Though  if 

thou  wilt, 
Methinks    'twould    be    a    guilt  —  a  very 

guilt  — 
Not  to  companion  thee,  and  sigh  away 
The    light  —  the    dusk  —  the    dark  —  till 

break  of  day  ! ' 
'  Dear  lady,'  said  Endymion,  *  't  is  past: 
I  love  thee  !  and  my  days  can  never  last. 
That  I  may  pass  in  patience  still  speak: 
Let  me  have  music  dying,  and  I  seek       140 
No  more  delight  —  I  bid  adieu  to  all. 
Didst  thou  not  after  other  climates  call. 
And  murmur  about  Indian  streams  ?'^- 

Then  she, 
Sitting  beneath  the  midmost  forest  tree. 
For  pity  sang  this  roundelay 

*  O  Sorrow, 

Why  dost  borrow 
The  natural  hue  of  health,  from  vermeil 
lips  ?  — 

To  give  maiden  blushes 

To  the  white  rose  bushes  ?  159 

Or  is  't  thy  dewy  hand  the  daisy  tips  ? 

*  O  Sorrow, 

Why  dost  borrow 
The  lustrous  passion  from  a  falcon-eye  ?  — ^ 

To  give  the  glowworm  light  ? 

Or,  on  a  moonless  night. 
To  tinge,  on  siren  shores,  the  salt  sea-spry  7 


BOOK  FOURTH 


97 


mourning 

i6o 


«0  Sorrow, 
Why  do6t  borrow 
be    mellow    ditties  from    a 
tongae?  — 
To  give  at  evening  pale 
Unto  the  nightingale, 
bat  thoa    mayst  listen  the    cold    dews 
among? 

•  O  Sorrow, 

Why  dost  borrow 
lesrt's  lightness  from  the  merriment  of 
May?  — 

A  lover  would  not  tread 

A  cowslip  on  the  head, 
rkoagh  he  should  dance  from  eve  till  peep 
of  day  — 

Nor  any  drooping  flower  170 

Held  sacred  for  thy  bower, 
Whererer  he  may  sport  himself  and  play. 

*  To  Sorrow, 

1  bade  good  morrow, 
Aad  thought  to  leave  her  far  away  behind; 

But  cheerly,  cheerly, 

She  loves  me  dearly; 
^  is  80  constant  to  me,  and  so  kind: 

I  would  deceive  her. 

And  so  leave  her,  180 

Bat  ah  !  she  is  so  constant  and  so  kind. 

'Beneath  my  palm-trees,  by  the  river  side, 
Isat  a.weeping:  in  the  whole  world  wide 
There  was  no  one  to  ask  me  why  I  wept,  — 

And  so  I  kept 
Bfimmiog  the  water-lily  cups  with  tears 

Cold  as  my  fears. 

'Beaeath  my  palm-trees,  by  the  river  side, 
I  ut  ft-weepiog:  what  enamour'd  bride, 
(Wted  bj  shadowy  wooer  from  the  clouds, 
Bat  hides  and  shrouds  191 

Be&eath  dark  palm-trees  by  a  river  side  ? 

*Aad  is  1  sat,  over  the  light  blue  hills 
IWre  came  a  noise  of  revellers:  the  rills 
iM»  the  wide  stream  came  of  purple  hue  — 
"T  was  Bacchus  and  his  crew  ! 


The    earnest  trumpet    spake,  and    silver 

thrills 
From  kissing  cymbals  made  a  merry  din  — 

'T  was  Bacchus  and  his  kin  I 
Like  to  a  moving  vintage  down  they  came, 
Crown'd  with  green  leaves,  and  faces  all 

on  flame; 


aox 


All  madly  dancing  through  the  pleasant 
valley, 
To  scare  thee.  Melancholy  ! 
O  then,  O  then,  thou  wast  a  simple  name  t 
And  I  forgot  thee,  as  the  berried  holly 
By  shepherds  is  forgotten,  when,  in  June, 
Tall  chestnuts  keep  away  the   sun    and 
moon:  — 
I  rush'd  into  the  folly  I 

<  Within  his  car,  aloft,  young  Bacchus  stood. 
Trifling  his  ivy-dart,  in  dancing  mood,    a  10 

With  sidelong  laughing; 
And  little  rills  of  crimson  wine  imbrued 
His    plump   white    arms,   and    shoulders^ 
enough  white 

For  Venus*  pearly  bite; 
And  near  bim  rode  Silenus  on  his  ass, 
Pelted  with  flowers  as  he  on  did  pass 

Tipsily  quafiBng. 

*  Whence  came  ye,  merry  Damsels  I  whence 

came  ye ! 
So  many,  and  so  many,  and  such  glee  ? 
Why  have  ye  left  your  bowers  desolate,  aao 

Your  lutes,  and  gentler  fate  ?  — 
<'  We  follow  Bacchus !  Bacchus  on  the  wing, 

A  conquering  ! 
Bacchus,  young  Bacchus  !  good  or  ill  be- 
tide, 
We  dance  before  him  thorough  kingdoms 

wide :  — 
Come  hither,  lady  fair,  and  joined  be 
To  our  wild  minstrelsy  !  " 

*  Whence  came  ye,  jolly  Satyrs  !  whence 

came  ye, 
So  many,  and  so  many,  and  such  glee  ? 
Why  have  ye  left  your  forest  haunts,  why 

left  a30 

Your  nuts  in  oak-tree  cleft  ?  — 


98 


ENDYMION 


*'  For  wine,  for  wine  we  left  our  kernel  tree; 
For  wine  we  left  our  heath,  and  yellow 
brooms, 
And  cold  mushrooms; 
For  wine  we  follow  Bacchus  through  the 

earth; 
Great  god  of  breathless  cups  and  chirping 

mirth  |  — 
Come  hither,  lady  fair,  and  joined  be 
To  our  mad  minstrelsy  ! " 

*OTer  wide  streams  and  mountains  great 

we  went, 
And,  save  when  Bacchus  kept  his  iyj  tent, 
Onward  the  tiger  and  the  leopard  piints,   24 1 

With  Asian  elephants: 
Onward  these  myriads — ^with  song  and 

dance. 
With  zebras  striped,  and  sleek  Arabians' 

prance. 
Web-footed  alligators,  crocodiles, 
Bearing  upon  their  scaly  backs,  in  files. 
Plump  infant  laughers  mimicking  the  coil 
Of  seamen,  and  stout  galley-rowers'  toil: 
With  toying  oars  and  silken  sails  they  glide. 
Nor  care  for  wind  and  tide.  350 

'Mounted   on   panthers'    furs    and    lions' 

manes. 
From  rear  to  van  they  scour  about  the 

plains; 
A  three  days'  journey  in  a  moment  done: 
And  always,  at  the  rising  of  the  sun, 
About  the  wilds  they  hunt  with  spear  and 

horn. 
On  spleenful  unicorn. 

*  I  saw  Osirian  Egypt  kneel  adown 

Before  the  vine-wreath  crown  I 

I  saw  parch'd  Abyssinia  rouse  and  sing 

To  the  silver  cymbals'  ring  f  a6o 

I  saw  the  whelming  vintage  hotly  pierce 
Old  Tartary  the  fierce  ! 

The  Kings  of  Inde  their  jewel-sceptres  vail. 

And  from  their  treasures  scatter  pearled 
hail; 

Great    Brahma    from  his   mystic  heaven 
groans, 


And  all  his  priesthood  moans; 
Before  young  Bacchus'  eye-wink  taming 

pale. — 
Into  these  regions  came  I  following  hiniy 
Sick-hearted,  weary  — -  so  I  took  a  whim 
To  stray  away  into  these  forests  drear    170 

Alone,  without  a  peer: 
And  I  have  told  thee  all  thou  mayest  hear. 

*  Toung  Stranger  I 

I  've  been  a  ranger 
In  search  of   pleasure  throughout  eveiy 
clime: 

Alas,  't  is  not  for  me  ! 

Bewitch'd  I  sure  must  be. 
To  lose  in  grieving  all  my  maiden  prinM. 

'  Come  then,  Sorrow  I 
Sweetest  Sorrow  I  aSo 

Like  an  own  babe   I  nurse  thee  on  my 
breast: 
I  thought  to  leave  thee 
And  deceive  thee. 
But  now  of  all  the  world  I  love  thee  best. 

*  There  is  not  one, 
No,  no,  not  one 

But  thee  to  comfort  a  poor  lonely  maid; 

Thou  art  her  mother. 

And  her  brother. 
Her    playmate,    and   her    wooer    in    the 
shade.'  390 


O  what  a  sigh  she  gave  in  finishing. 
And   look,  quite  dead  to  every   worldly 

thing! 
Endymion  could  not  speak,  but  gaied  oa 

her: 
And  listened  to  the  wind  that  now  did  stir 
About  the  crisped  oaks  full  drearily, 
Tet  with  as  sweet  a  softness  as  might  be 
Remember'd  from  its  velvet  summer  song* 
At  last  he  said:  <  Poor  lady,  how  thoa  loii|p 
Have  I  been  able  to  endure  that  ycnoe  ?  399 
Fair  Melody  I  kind  Siren  1 1  've  no  choioe; 
I  most  be  thy  sad  servant  evermore: 
I  cannot  choose  but  kneel  here  and  adore. 
Alas,  I  must  not  think  —  by  Phcsbe,  no  1 


BOOK  FOURTH 


99 


Lei  me  not  think,  soft  Angel  I  shall  it  he 

eo? 
Sftjy  hemntifiillefty  ihall  I  never  think  ? 

0  thoa  eouicUt  foster  me  hejond  the  brink 
Of  reeoHeeiion  !  make  my  watchful  care 
Gose  op  its  bloodshot  ejes,  nor  see  de- 
spair ! 

Do  gently  morder  half  my  soul,  and  I 
Shall  feel  the  other  half  so  utterly  I  —    310 

1  'm  giddy  at  that  cheek  so  fair  and  smooth ; 
0  let  it  blosh  so  ever  !  let  it  soothe 

Mj  madness  I  let  it  mantle  rosy-warm 
With  the  tinge  of  love,  panting  in  safe 

alarm. — 
This  cannot  be  thy  hand,  and  yet  it  is; 
Aad  this  is  sure  thine  other  softling  —  this 
TUne  own  fair  bosom,  and  I  am  so  near  ! 
Wilt  fall  asleep  ?    O  let  me  sip  that  tear  I 
Aid  whisper  one  sweet  word  that  I  may 

know 
TUs  is  this  world  —  sweet  dewy  blossom  I ' 

—  Woe  !  Z20 

Wot !  woe  to  that  EndymUm  I     Where  is 

hef  — 
Efea  these  words  went  echoing  dismally 
IWongh  the  wide  forest — a  most  fearful 

tone. 
Like  one  repenting  in  his  latest  moan; 
lad  while  it  died  away  a  shade  pass'd  by, 
At  of  a  thundercloud.    When  arrows  fly 
Tkraa^  the  thick  branches,  poor  ring- 

doves  sleek  forth 
Tknr  timid  necks  and  tremble;  so  these 

both  328 

htui  to  each  other  trembling,  and  sat  so 
Waiting  for  some  destruction  —  when  lo  I 
iWi-feather^d  Mercury  appeared  sublime 
Bijoad  the  tall  tree  tops;  and  in  less  time 
IWa  shoots  the  slanted  hail-storm,  down 

1m  dropt 
Ttvuds  the  groond;  but  rested  not,  nor 

stopt 
Om  mooicnt  from    his  home:    only  the 

sward 
Bi  with  his  wand  light  touoh'd,  and  hea- 


Willer  than  sight  was  gone  —  even  be- 

fOM 


The  teeming  earth  a  sudden  witness  bore 
Of  his  swift  magic.    Diving  swans  appear 
Above    the    crystal    cirdings    white    and 

clear;  340 

And  catch  the  cheated  eye  in  wild  surprise. 
How  they  can  dive  in  sight  and  unseen 

rise  — 
So  from  the  turf  outsprang  two  steeds  jet- 
black, 
Each  with  large  dark  blue  wings  upon  his 

back. 
The  youth  of  Caria  placed  the  lovely  dame 
On  one,  and  felt  himself  in  spleen  to  tame 
The  other's  fierceness.    Through  the  air 

they  flew, 
High  as  the  eagles.     Like  two  drops  of 

dew 
Exhaled  to  Phoebus'  lips,  away  they  are 

gone,  349 

Far  from  the  earth  away  —  unseen,  alone, 
Among  cool  clouds  and  winds,  but  that  the 

free. 
The  buoyant  life  of  song  can  floating  be 
Above  their  heads,  and  follow  them  untired. 
Muse  of  my  native  land,  am  I  inspired  ? 
This  is  the  giddy  air,  and  I  must  spread 
Wide  pinions  to  keep  here ;  nor  do  I  dread 
Or  height,    or  depth,   or    width,   or   any 

chance 
Precipitous:  I  have  beneath  my  glance 
Those  towering  horses  and  their  mournful 

freight.  359 

Could  I  thus  sail,  and  see,  and  thus  await 
Fearless   for  power  of    thought,   without 

thine  aid  ?  — 
There  is  a  sleepy  dusk,  an  odorous  shade 
From  some  approaching  wonder,  and  be- 
hold 
Those  winged  steeds,  with  snorting  nostrils 

bold 
Snuff  at  its  faint  extreme,  and  seem   to 

tire. 
Dying  to  embers  from  their  native  fire  I 

There  curl*d  a  purple  mist  around  them; 
soon. 
It  seem'd  as  when  around  the  pale  new 
moon 


lOO 


ENDYMION 


Sad  Zephyr  droops  the  clouds  like  weeping 
willow: 

T  was  Sleep  slow  joameying  with  head  on 
pillow  370 

For  the  first  time,  since  he  came  nigh  dead- 
born 

From  the  old  womb  of  night,  his  cave  for- 
lorn 

Had  he  left  more  forlorn;  for  the  first 
time. 

He  felt  aloof  the  day  and  morning's 
prime  — 

Because  into  his  depth  Cimmerian 

There  came  a  dream,  showing  how  a  young 
man, 

Ere  a  lean  bat  could  plump  its  wintery 
skin, 

Would  at  high  Jove's  empyreal  footstool 
win 

An  immortality,  and  how  espouse 

Jove's  daughter,  and  be  reckon'd  of  his 
house.  380 

Now  was  he  slumberiug  towards  heaven's 
gate, 

That  he  might  at  the  threshold  one  hour 
wait 

To  hear  the  marriage  melodies,  and  then 

Sink  downward  to  his  dusky  cave  again. 

His  litter  of  smooth  semilucent  mist. 

Diversely  tinged  with  rose  and  amethyst, 

Puzzled  those  eyes  that  for  the  centre 
sought; 

And  scarcely  for  one  moment  could  be 
caught 

His  sluggish  form  reposing  motionless. 

Those  two  on  winged  steeds,  with  all  the 
stress  390 

Of  vision  scarch'd  for  him,  as  one  would 
look 

Athwart  the  sallows  of  a  river  nook 

To  catch  a  glance  at  silver-throated  eels,  — 

Or  from  old  Skiddaw's  top,  when  fog  con- 
ceals 

His  rugged  forehead  in  a  mantle  pale, 

With  an  eye-guess  towards  some  pleasant 
vale 

Descry  a  favourite  hamlet  faint  and  far. 


These  raven  horses,  though  they  foater'd 

are 
Of  earth's  splenetic  fire,  dolly  drop 
Their,  full-vein'd  ears,  nostrils  blood  wide, 

and  stop;  400 

Upon  the  spiritless  mist  have  thej  oat- 
spread 
Their    ample    feathers,    are    in    slumber 

dead, — 
And  on  those  pinions,  level  in  mid  air, 
Endymion  sleepeth  and  the  lady  fair. 
Slowly  they  sail,  slowly  as  icy  isle 
Upon  a  calm  sea  drifting:  and  meanwhile 
The  mournful  wanderer  dreams.    Behold  t 

he  walks 
On  heaven's  pavement;  brotherly  he  talks 
To  divine  powers:  from  his  hand  full  fain 
Juno's    proud    birds    are   pecking  pearlj 

grain:  410 

He  tries  the  nerve  of  PhcBbus'  golden  bow. 
And  asketh  where  the  golden  apples  grow: 
Upon  his  arm  he  braces  Pallas'  shield. 
And  strives  in  vain  to  unsettle  and  wield 
A  Jovian  thunderbolt:  arch  Hebe  brings 
A  f uU-brimm'd  goblet,  dances  lightly,  sings 
And  tantalizes  long;  at  last  he  drinks, 
And  lost  in  pleasure,  at  her  feet  he  sinks, 
Touching  with  dazzled   lips   her  starlight 

hand. 
He  blows  a  bugle,  —  an  ethereal  band     420 
Are  visible  above:  the  Seasons  four, — 
Green-kirtled  Spring,  flush  Summer,  golden 

store 
In  Autumn's  sickle.  Winter  frosty  hoar. 
Join  dance  with  shadowy  Hours;  while  still 

the  blast, 
In  swells  unmitigated,  still  doth  last 
To  sway  their  floating  morris.     '  Whose  is 

this? 
Whose  bugle  ? '  he  inquires:  they  smile  ^ 

'ODisI 
Why  is  this  mortal  here  ?     Dost  thou  nofc 

know 
Its    mistress'    lips  ?      Not  thou  ?  —  'T  i« 

Dian's:  lo  f  499 

She  rises  crescented  ! '     He  looks,  't  is  sliey 
His  very  g^dess:  good-bye  earth,  and 


BOOK  FOURTH 


lOI 


And  mir,  and  paiiUyand  care,  and  suffering; 
Good-bje  to  all  but  love  I    Then  doth  he 

spring 
Towards  her,  and  awakes  —  and,  strange, 

o*erliead. 
Of  those  same  fragrant  exhalations  bred, 
Beheld  awake  his  very  dream:  the  gods 
Stood  smiling;    merry  Hebe  laughs  and 

nods; 
And  PhoBbo  bends  towards  him  crescented. 
0  state  perplexing  I    On  the  pinion  bed. 
Too  well  awake,  he  feels  the  panting  side  440 
Of  his  delicious  lady.     He  who  died 
For  soaring  too  audacious  in  the  sun. 
When  that  same  treacherous  wax  began  to 

nm. 
Felt  not  more  tongue-tied  than  Endymion. 
Hit  heart  leapt  up  as  to  its  rightful  throne, 
To  that  frdr-shadow'd  passion  pulsed  its 

way  — 
Ah,  what  perplerity  I    Ah,  well  a  day  I 
So  food,  so  beauteous  was  his  bed-fellow. 
He  eonld  not  help  but  kiss  her:   then  he 

grew 
Awhile  forgetful  of  all  beauty  save  450 

TosBg  Phcsbe's,  golden-hair*d;  and  so  'gau 

erare 
FfligiTeness:  yet  he  tum'd  once  more  to  look 
it  the  sweet  sleeper,  —  all  his  soul  was 

shook, — 
Ske  press'd  his  hand  in  slumber;  so  once 


He  eoold  not  help  but  kiss  her  and  adore. 
At  this  the  shadow  wept,  melting  away. 
The  latmian  started  up:  'Bright  goddess, 

stay! 
Scneh  my  most  hidden  breast  I    By  truth's 

own  tongue, 
I  hn  nodiedale  heart;  why  is  it  wrung  459 
To  desperation  ?     Is  there  nought  for  me, 
^pen  the  bourne  of  bliss,  but  misery  ? ' 

Tliete  words  awoke  the  stranger  of  dark 


k  dawning  love -look  rapt  Endymion 
_  blesses 

*&  Hiarioiir  soft.     Sleep  yawn'd  from 


'Thou  swan  of  Ganges,  let  us    no  more 

breathe 
This    murky  phantasm  I    thou    contented 

seem'st 
Pillow'd  in  lovely  idleness,  nor  dream'st 
What  horrors  may  discomfort  thee  and 

me. 
Ah,  shouldst    thou    die    from  my    heart- 
treachery  !  —  469 
Yet  did  she  merely  weep  — her  gentle  soul 
Hath  no  revenge  in  it:  as  it  is  whole 
lu  tenderness,  would  I  were  whole  in  love  ! 
Can  I  prize  thee,  fair  maid,  all  price  above. 
Even  when  I  feel  as  true  as  innocence  ? 
I   do,   I   do.  —  What  is  this  soul  then? 

Whence 
Came  it  ?    It  does  not  seem  my  own,  and  I 
Have  no  self-passion  or  identity. 
Some  fearful  end  must  be:   where,  where 

is  it? 
By  Nemesis,  I  see  my  spirit  flit  479 

Alone  about  the  dark  —  Forgave  me,  sweet : 
Shall  we  away?'      He  roused  the  steeds; 

they  beat 
Their  wings  chivalrous  into  the  clear  air. 
Leaving  old  Sleep  within  his  vapoury  lair. 

The  good-night  blush  of  eve  was  waning 

slow, 
And  Vesper,  risen  star,  began  to  throe 
In  the  dusk  heavens  silvery,  when  they 
Thus  sprang  direct  towards  the  Galaxy. 
Nor  did  speed   hinder  converse  soft  and 

strange  — 
Eternal  oaths  and  vows  they  interchange, 
In  such  wise,  in  such  temper,  so  aloof      490 
Up  in  the  winds,  beneath  a  starry  roof. 
So  witless  of  their  doom,  that  verily 
'T  is  well  nigh  past  man's  search  their  hearts 

to  see; 
Whether  they  wept,  or  laugh 'd,  or  g^eved 

or  toy'd  — 
Most  like  with  joy  gone  mad,  with  sorrow 

doy'd. 

Full  facing  their  swift  flight,  from  ebon 
streak. 
The  moon  put  forth  a  little  diamond  peak. 


I02 


ENDYMION 


No  bigger  than  an  onobseryed  star, 

Or  tiny  point  of  fairy  scimetar; 

Bright  signal  that  she  only  stoop'd  to  tie    500 

Her  silver  sandals,  ere  deliciously 

She  bow'd  into  the  heavens  her  timid  head. 

Slowly  she  rose,  as  thoagh  she  would  have 

fled, 
While  to  his  lady  meek  the  Carian  tom'd. 
To  mark  if  her  dark  eyes  had  yet  discem'd  . 
This  beanty  in  its  birth  —  Despair  I  despair  I 
He  saw  her  body  fading  gaont  and  spare 
In  the  cold  moonshine.     Straight  he  seized 

her  wrist; 
It  melted  from  his  grasp;  her  hand  he 

kiss'd, 
And,    horror  1    kiss*d    his    own  —  he  was 

alone.  510 

Her  steed  a  little  higher  soar'd,  and  then 
Dropt  hawk-wise  to  the  earth. 

There  lies  a  den, 
Beyond  the  seeming  confines  of  the  space 
Made  for  the  soul  to  wander  in  and  trace 
Its  own  existence,  of  remotest  glooms. 
Dark   regions   are  around  it,  where  the 

tombs 
Of  buried  griefs  the  spirit  sees,  but  scarce 
One  hour  doth  linger  weeping,   for  the 

pierce 
Of  new-bom  woe  it  feels  more  inly  smart: 
And  in    these  regions    many   a  venom'd 

dart  520 

At  Aindom  flies;  they  are  the  proper  home 
Of  every  ill:  the  man  is  yet  to  come 
Who  hath  not  journey 'd  in  this  native  hell. 
But  few  have  ever  felt  how  calm  and  well 
Sleep  may  be  had  in  that  deep  den  of  all. 
There  anguish  does  not  sting,  nor  pleasure 

pall; 
Woe-hurricanes  beat  ever  at  the  gate. 
Yet  all  is  still  within  and  desolate. 
Beset  with  painful  g^sts,  within  ye  hear    529 
No  sound  so  loud  as  when  on  curtain'd  bier 
The  death-watch  tick  is  stifled.    Enter  none 
Who  strive  therefore:  on  the  sodden  it  is 

won. 
Just  when  the  sufferer  begins  to  bum. 
Then  it  is  free  to  him;  and  from  an  um. 


Still    fed    by    melting    ioe,    he    takes   a 

draught — 
Young  Semele  such  richness  never  quaff'd 
In  her  maternal  longing.    Happy  gloom  t 
Dark  Paradise  I  where  pale  becomes  the 

bloom 
Of  health  by  due;  where  silence  dreariest 
Is  most  articulate;  where  hopes  infest;  540 
Where  those  eyes  are  the  brightest  far  that 

keep 
Their  lids  shut  longest  in  a  dreamless  sleep. 
O  happy  spirit-home  I    O  wondrous  soul  I 
Pregnant  with  such  a  den  to  save  the  whole 
In  thine  own  depth.    Hail,  gentle  Carian  I 
For,  never  since  thy  griefs  and  woes  begmn. 
Hast  thou  felt  so  content:  a  grievous  fead 
Hath  led  thee  to  this  Cave  of  Quietude. 
Aye,  his  luird  soul  was  there,  although  up- 
borne 
With  dangerous  speed:  and  so  he  did  ncyt 

mourn  550 

Because  he  knew  not  whither  he  was  going. 
So  happy  was  he,  not  the  aerial  blovring 
Of  trumpets  at  clear  parley  from  the  east 
Could  rouse  from  that  fine  relish,  that  high 

feast. 
They  stung  the  feather'd  horse;  with  fteree 

alarm 
He  flapp'd  towards  the  sound.      Alas,  no 

charm 
Could  lift  Endymion's  head,  or  he  had 

view'd 
A  skyey  mask,  a  pinion'd  multitude,  — 
And  silvery  was  its  passing:  voices  sweet 
Warbling  the  while  as  if  to  lull  and  greet 
The  wanderer  in  his  path.    Thus  warbled 

they,  sfis 

While  past  the  vision  went  in  bright  amy* 

<  Who,  who  from  Dian's  feast  would  h» 
away  ? 
For  all  the  golden  bowers  of  the  day 
Are  empty  left  ?    Who,  who  away  would 

be 
From  Cynthia's  wedding  and  festivity  ? 
Not  Hesperus:  lo  I  upon  his  sHver  winga 
He  leans  away  for  highest  heaven  and  mngBp 
Snapping  his  lucid  fingers  merrily  I  — 


BOOK  FOURTH 


103 


Ah,  Z^lijmis  1  art  Itere^  and  Flora  too  I   570 
Te  tander  bilibers  of  the  rain  and  dew, 
Tong  playmatea  of  the  roee  and  daffodil, 
Bt  caiefoly  ere  ye  enter  in,  to  fill 

Tour  haskets  high 
Willi  fennel  green,  and  balm,  and  golden 

pines, 
Sanny,  latter-mint,  and  oolnmbines, 
Cool  parsley,  basil  sweet,  and  sunny  thyme ; 
Yea,  erery  flower  and  leaf  of  every  clime, 
All  gafther'd  in  the  dewy  morning:  hie 

Away  I  fly,  fly  I  —  580 

Ciyslalline  brother  of  the  belt  of  heaven, 
Aqaarios  1  to  whom  king  Jove  has  given 
Two  liqnid  poise  streams  'stead  of  feath- 
ered wingB, 
Two  fianlite  fountains,  —  thine  illominings 

For  Dian  play: 
DiMolre  the  frozen  parity  of  air; 
Let  thy  white  shoulders  silvery  and  bare 
Show  eold  through  watery  pinions;  make 

more  bright 
The  Star-Queen's  crescent  on  her  marriage 


Haste,  haste  away  I  —  590 

Cailor  has  tamed  the  planet  Lion,  see  I 
Aai  of  the  Bear  has  Pollux  mastery: 
A  third  is  in  the  race  I  who  is  the  third, 
Speeding  away  swift  as  the  eagle  bird  ? 

The  ramping  Centaur  1 
Tkfb  Lion's  mane  's  on  end:  the  Bear  how 

fiercel 
IW  CeDtaor^s  arrow  ready  seems  to  pierce 
Sane  enemy:  far  forth  his  bow  b  bent 
lile  the  bine  of  heaven.    He  11  be  shent, 

Fiide  nnrelentor,  600 

When  he  shall  hear  the  wedding   lutes 

allaying.  — 
AsdroBieda  !  sweet  woman  I  why  delaying 
titiandly  among  the  stars:  come  hither  I 
te  this  bright  throng,  and  nimbly  follow 
frikither 
They  all  are  going. 
l^Mi's  Son,  before  Jove  newly  bow'd, 
k  wept  for  thee,  calling  to  Jove  aloud. 
IW,  gntle  lady,  did  he  disenthrall: 
tiiUl  lor  ever  live  and  love,  for  all 

Thy  tears  are  flowing.  —  610 

%  DHyhne's  fright,  behold  ApoUo  I  '— 


More 
Endymion  heard  not:  down  his  steed  him 

bore, 
Prone  to  the  green  head  of  a  misty  hill. 

His  first  touch  of  the  earth  went  nigh  to 

kill. 
*  Alas  ! '  said  he,  *  were  I  but  always  borne 
Through  dangerous  winds,  had  but    my 

footsteps  worn 
A  path  in  hell,  for  ever  would  I  bless 
Horrors  which  nourish  an  uneasiness 
For  my  own  sullen  conquering:  to  him 
Who  lives  beyond  earth's  boundary,  grief 

is  dim,  630 

Sorrow  is  but  a  shadow:  now  I  see 
The  grass;  I  feel  the  solid  ground  —  Ah, 

me ! 
It  is  thy  voice  —  divinest !      Where  ?  — 

who?  who 
Left  thee  so  quiet  on  this  bed  of  dew  ? 
Behold  upon  this  happy  earth  we  are; 
Let  us  ay  love  each  other;  let  us  fare 
On  forest-fruits,  and  never,  never  go 
Among  the  abodes  of  mortals  here  below. 
Or  be  by  phantoms  duped.     O  destiny  ! 
Into  a  labyrinth  now  my  soul  would  fly,  630 
But  with  thy  beauty  will  I  deaden  it. 
Where  didst  thou  melt  to  ?     By  thee  will 

I  sit 
For  ever:  let  our  fate  stop  here  —  a  kid 
I  on  this  spot  will  offer:  Pan  will  bid 
Us  live  in  peace,  in  love  and  peace  among 
His  forest  wildernesses.    I  have  clung 
To  nothing,  loved  a  nothing,  nothing  seen 
Or  felt  but  a  great  dream  1    Oh,  I  have 

been 
Presumptuous    against  love,  against    the 

sky, 
Against  all  elements,  against  the  tie        640 
Of  mortals  each  to  each,  against  the  blooms 
Of  flowers,  rush  of  rivers,  and  the  tombs 
Of  heroes  gone  1     Against  his  proper  glory 
Has  my  own  soul  conspired:  so  my  story 
Will  I  to  children  utter,  and  repent. 
There  never  lived  a  mortal  man,  who  bent 
His  appetite  beyond  his  natural  sphere, 
But  starved  and  died.    My  sweetest  Indian, 

here, 


I04 


ENDYMION 


Here  will  I  kneel,  for  thou  redeemed  hast 
My  life  from  too  thin  breathing:  gone  and 

past  650 

Are    doudy  phantasms.       Caverns    lone, 

farewell  I 
And  air  of  visions,  and  the  monstrous  swell 
Of  visionary  seas  !    No,  never  more 
Shall  airy  voices  cheat  me  to  the  shore 
Of  tangled  wonder,  breathless  and  aghast. 
Adieu,  my  daintiest  Dream  1  although  so 

vast 
My  love  is  still  for  thee.    The  hour  may 

come 
When  we  shall  meet  in  pure  elysium. 
On  earth  I  may  not  love  thee;  and  there- 
fore 
Doves  will  I  offer  up,  and  sweetest  store  660 
All  through  the  teeming  year  :  so  thou  wilt 

shine 
On  me,  and  on  this  damsel  fair  of  mine. 
And  bless  our  simple  lives.    My  Indian 

bliss  1 
My  river-lily  bud  1  one  human  kiss  ! 
One    sigh    of    real    breath  —  one    gentle 

squeeze. 
Warm   as  a  dove's  nest  among  summer 

trees, 
And  warm  with  dew  at  ooze  from  living 

blood  I 
Whither  didst  melt  ?  Ah,  what  of  that !  — 

all  good 
We  11  talk  about  —  no  more  of  dreaming. 

—  Now, 
Where  shall  our  dwelling  be  ?    Under  the 

brow  670 

Of  some  steep  mossy  hill,  where  ivy  dun 
Would  hide  us  up,  although  spring  leaves 

were  none; 
And  where  dark  yew  trees,  as  we  rustle 

through 
Will  drop  their  scarlet  berry  cups  of  dew  ? 
O  thou  wouldst  joy  to  live  in  such  a  place; 
Dusk  for  our  loves,  yet  light  enough   to 

grace 
Those  gentle  limbs  on  mossy  bed  reclined: 
For  by  one  step  the  blue  sky  shouldst  thou 

find. 
And  by  another,  in  deep  dell  below. 


See,  through  the  trees,  a  little  river  go  680 
All  in  its  mid-day  gold  and  glimmering. 
Honey  from  out  the  gnarled  hive  I  '11  bring. 
And  apples,  wan  with  sweetness,  gather 

thee, — 
Cresses  that  grow  where  no  man  may  them 

see. 
And  sorrel  untom  by  the  dew-claw'd  stag: 
Pipes  will  I  fashion  of  the  syrinx  flag. 
That  thou  mayst  always  know  whither  I 

roam. 
When  it  shall  please  thee   in  our  quiet 

home 
To  listen  and  think  of  love.    Still  let  me 

speak; 
Still  let  me  dive  into  the  joy  I  seek,  —   690 
For  yet  the  past  doth  prison  me.    The 

rill. 
Thou  haply  mayst  delight  in,  will  I  fill 
With  fairy  fishes  from  the  mountain  tarn. 
And  thou  shalt  feed  them  from  the  squir- 
rel's barn. 
Its  bottom  will  I  strew  with  amber  shells. 
And  pebbles   blue   from  deep   enchanted 

wells. 
Its  sides  I  '11  plant  with  dew-sweet  eglan- 
tine, 
And  honeysuckles  full  of  clear  bee-wine. 
I  will  entice  this  crystal  rill  to  trace 
Love's  silver  name    upon  the    meadow's 
face.  700 

I  '11  kneel  to  Vesta,  for  a  flame  of  fire; 
And  to  god  FLoebus,  for  a  golden  lyre; 
To  Empress  Dian,  for  a  hunting-spear; 
To  Vesper,  for  a  taper  silver-clear. 
That  I  may  see  thy  beauty  through  the 

night; 
To  Flora,  and  a  nightingale  shall  light 
Tame  on  thy  finger;  to  the  River-gods, 
And  they  shall  bring  thee  taper  fishing- 
rods 
Of  gold,  and  lines  of  Naiads'  long  bright 

tress. 
Heaven  shield  thee  for  thine  utter  loveli* 
ness  f  710 

Thy  mossy  footstool  shall  the  altar  be 
'Fore  which  I  '11  bend,  bending,  dear  \ore» 
to  thee: 


BOOK   FOURTH 


105 


Tliote  lips  thftll  be  my  Delphos,  and  shall 


Laws  to  my  footsteps,  coloar  to  my  cheek, 

TVembling  or  stead&stness  to  this  same 
▼oioe. 

And  ci  three  sweetest  pleasurings  the 
ehoiee: 

Aad  that  affectionate  light,  those  diamond 
things, 

Those  eyes,  those  passions,  those  supreme 
pearl  springs, 

Shall  be  my  grief,  or  twinkle  me  to  plea- 
sure. 

Stj,  is  not  bliss  within  our  perfect  seiz- 
ure ?  720 

Othat  I  could  not  doubt  I' 

The  mountaineer 
Thus  strove  by  fancies  vain  and  crude  to 

dear 
His  hrier'd  path  to  some  tranquillity. 
It  gare  bright  gladness  to  his  lady's  eye, 
Aad  yet  the  tears  she  wept  were  tears  of 

sorrow; 
Aaiwering  thus,  just  as  the  golden  mor- 
row 
upward  from  the  valleys  of  the 


*0  that  the  flutter  of  his  heart  had  ceased, 
Or  te  sweet  name  of  love  had  pass'd 

away, 
lou^  feather'd  tyrant  I  by  a  swift  de- 

«y  730 

Wot  thoo  devote  this  body  to  the  earth: 
Aid  I  do  think  that  at  my  very  birth 
Ifiip'd  thy  blooming  titles  inwardly; 
Far  at  the  first,  first  dawn  and  thought  of 

thee. 
With  vplift  hands  I  Uest  the  stars  of  hea- 


Ait  thou  not  eruel  ?    Ever  have  I  striven 
T«  thbk  thee  kind,  but  ah,  it  will  not  do  1 
Wkea  yet  a  child,  I  heard  that  kisses  drew 
hwnr  hmn  thee,  aad  so  I  gave  and  gave 
'U  te  void  air,  bidding  them  find  out 
love:  740 

^  when  I  came  to  feel  how  far  above 
^  Cnsyt  pride,  and  fiekle  maidenhood, 


All  earthly  pleasure,  all  imagined  good. 
Was  the  warm  tremble  of  a  devout  kiss,  — 
Even  then,  that  moment,  at  the  thought  of 

this, 
Fainting  I  fell  into  a  bed  of  flowers. 
And    languish'd    there    three    days.     Ye 

milder  powers, 
Am  I  not  cruelly  wrong'd  ?    Believe,  be- 
lieve 
Me,  dear  Endymion,  were  I  to  weave 
With  my  own  fancies  garlands  of  sweet 
life,  750 

Thou  shouldst  be  one  of  all.     Ah,  bitter 

strife ! 
I  may  not  be  thy  love:  I  am  forbidden  — 
Indeed  I  am  —  thwarted,  affrighted,  chid- 
den, 
By  things  I  tremble  at,  and  gorgon  wrath. 
Twice   hast  thou  ask'd   whither   I   went: 

henceforth 
Ask  me  no  more  f  I  may  not  utter  it. 
Nor  may  I  be  thy  love.     We  might  com- 
mit 
Ourselves  at  once  to  vengeance;  we  might 

die; 
We   might  embrace   and  die:   voluptuous 

thought  f 
Enlarge  not  to  my  hunger,  or  I  'm  caught 
In  trammels  of  perverse  deliciousness.    761 
No,  no,  that  shall  not  be:  thee  will  I  bless, 
And  bid  a  long  adieu.* 

The  Carian 
No  word  retum'd:  both  lovelorn,  silent, 

wan, 
Into  the  valleys  g^reen  together  went. 
Far  wandering,   they  were  perforce  con- 
tent 
To  sit  beneath  a  fair  lone  beechen  tree; 
Nor  at  each  other  gazed,  but  heavily 
Pored  on  its  hazel  cirque  of  shedded  leaves. 

Endymion  f  unhappy  !  it  nigh  grieves  770 
Me  to  behold  thee  thus  iu  last  extreme: 
Enskied  ere  this,  but  truly  that  I  deem 
Truth  the  best  music  in  a  first-born  song. 
Thy  lute-voiced  brother  will   I  sing  ere 
long, 


io6 


ENDYMION 


And  thou  shalt  aid  —  hast  thou  not  aided 

me? 
Yes,  moonlight  Emperor !  felicity 
Has  been  thy  meed  for  many   thousand 

years; 
Yet  often  have  I,  on  the  brink  of  tears, 
Moum*d  as  if  yet  thou  wert  a  forester;  — 
Forgetting  the  old  tale. 

He  did  not  stir 
His  eyes  from  the  dead  leaves,  or  one  small 

pulse  781 

Of  joy  he  might  have  felt.  The  spirit  culls 
Unfaded  amaranth,  when  wild  it  strays 
Through  the  old  garden-ground  of  boyish 

days. 
A  little  onward  ran  the  very  stream 
By  which    he  took    his  first  soft  poppy 

dream; 
And  on  the  very  bark  'gainst  which  he 

leant 
A  crescent  he  had  carved,  and  round  it 

spent 
'Bjs  skill  in  little  stars.     The  teeming  tree 
Had  swollen  and  green'd  the  pious  charac- 

tery,  790 

But  not  ta'en  out.    Why,  there  was  not  a 

slope 
Up  which  he  had  not  fear'd  the  antelope; 
And  not  a  tree,  beneath  whose  rooty  shade 
He  had  not  with  his  tamed  leopards  play'd; 
Nor  could  an  arrow  light,  or  javelin, 
Fly  in  the  air  where  his  had  never  been  — 
And  yet  he  knew  it  not. 

O  treachery  I 
Why  does  his  lady  smile,  pleasing  her  eye 
WiUi  all  his  sorrowing  ?    He  sees  her  not. 
But  who  so  stares  on  him  ?   His  sister 
sure  I  800 

Peona  of  the  woods !  —  Can  she  endure  — 
Impossible  —  how  dearly  they  embrace  ! 
£[is  lady  smiles;  delight  is  in  her  face; 
It  is  no  treachery. 

*  Dear  brother  mine  ! 
Endymion,  weep  not  so  I    Why  shouldst 
thou  pine 


When  all  great  Latmos  so  exalt  will  be  ? 
Thank  the  great  gods,  and  look  not  bit- 
terly; 
And  speak  not  one  pale  word,  and  sigh  no 

more. 
Sure  I  will  not  believe  thou  hast  such  store 
Of  grief,  to  last  thee  to  my  kiss  again.    810 
Thou  surely  canst  not  bear  a  mind  in  pain. 
Come  hand  in  hand  with  one  so  beauti- 
ful. 
Be  happy  both  of  you !  for  I  will  pnll 
The  flowers  of  autumn  for  your  coronals. 
Pan's  holy  priest  for  young  Endymion  calls; 
And  when  he  is    restored,  thou,   fairest 

dame, 
Shalt  be  our  queen.  Now,  is  it  not  a  shame 
To  see  ye  thus,  —  not  very,  very  sad  ? 
Perhaps  y^  are  too  happy  to  be  glad: 
O  feel  as  if  it  were  a  common  day;         Sm 
Free- voiced  as  one  who  never  was  awaj. 
No  tongue  shall  ask.  Whence  come  ye  ?  bat 

ye  shall 
Be  gods  of  your  own  rest  imperial. 
Not  even  I,  for  one  whole  month,  will  pry 
Into  the  hours  that  have  passed  us  by. 
Since  in  my  arbour  I  did  sing  to  thee. 
O  Hermes  I  on  this  very  night  will  be 
A  hynming  up  to  Cynthia,  queen  of  light; 
For  the  soothsayers  old  saw  yesternight 
Good  visions  in  the  air,  —  whence  will  be- 
fall, 83« 
As  say  these  sages,  health  perpetual 
To  shepherds  and  their  flocks;  and  fnrthei^ 

more, 
In  Dian's  face  they  read  the  gentle  lore: 
Therefore  for  her  these  vesper-carols  are. 
Our  friends  will  all  be  there  from  nigh  and 

far. 
Many  upon  thy  death  have  ditties  made; 
And  numy,  even  now,  their  foreheads  shade 
With  cypress,  on  a  day  of  sacrifice. 
New  singing  for  our  maids  shalt  thou  devise^ 
And  pluck  the  sorrow  from  our  huntsmen's 
brows.  S40 

Tell  me,  my  lady-queen,  how  to  espouse 
This  wayward  brother  to  his  rightful  joyil 
His  eyes  are  on  thee  bent,  as  thon  didil 
poise 


BOOK  FOURTH 


107 


Hit  ftte  moat  goddess-like.    Help  me,  I 

To  hue  —  Endymion,  dear  brother,  say 
What  ails  thee  ? '    He  could  bear  no  more, 

and  so 
Beat  his  soal  fiercely  like  a  spiritual  bow, 
Aad  twang'd  it  inwardly,  and  calmly  said: 
*I  would  haye  thee  my  only  friend,  sweet 

umid  I 
M J  only  Tisitor  I  not  ignorant  though,    850 
Tbat  those  deceptions  which  for  pleasure 

go 
"Mong  men,  are  pleasures  real  as  real  may 

be: 
But  there  are  higher  ones  I  may  not  see, 
If  impioiisly  an  earthly  realm  I  take. 
Sinee  I  saw  thee,  I  have  been  wide  awake 
Kight  after  night,  and  day  by  day,  until 
Of  the  empyrean  I  have  drunk  my  fill. 
Let  it  content  thee.  Sister,  seeing  me 
Mora  h^py  than  betides  mortality. 
Abermit  young,  1 11  live  in  mossy  cave,  860 
When  thou  alone  shalt  come  to  me,  and 

lave 
Tkj  spirit  in  the  wonders  I  shall  tell. 
Tboo^  me  the  shepherd  realm  shall  pro- 
sier well; 
Far  to  thy  tongue  will  I  all  health  confide. 
Aid,  for  my  sake,  let  this  young  maid  abide 
With  thee  as  a  dear  sister.    Thou  alone, 
BHna,  mayst  return  to  me.    I  own 
TUs  may  sound  strangely:  but  when,  dear- 
est girl, 
TWm  seeat  it  for  my  happiness,  no  pearl 
Win  trespass  down  those  cheeks.    Compan- 
100  fair  I  870 

W3t  he  content  to  dwell  with  her,  to  share 
His  sister's  love  with  me  ? '    Like  one  re- 
signed 
iai  beat  by  circumstance,  and  thereby 

blind 
li  sdf-eommitment,  thus  that  meek  un- 


'Aye,  bat  a  buzzing  by  my  ears  has  flown, 
Of  jrtOea  to  Dian:  —truth  I  heard  1 
WiB  Oea,  I  see  there  is  no  little  bird, 
ladar  soavery  but  is  Jove's  own  care. 
iMg  hava  I  ioogfat  for  rest,  and,  unaware. 


Behold  I  find  it  I  so  exalted  too !  880 

So  after  my  own  heart  1    I  knew,  I  knew 
There  was  a  place  untenanted  in  it; 
In  that  same  void  white  Chastity  shall  sit. 
And  monitor  me  nightly  to  lone  slumber. 
With  sanest  lips  I  vow  me  to  the  number 
Of  Dian's  sisterhood;  and,  kind  lady. 
With  thy  good  help,  this  very  night  shall 

see 
My  future  days  to  her  fane  consecrate.' 

As  feels  a  dreamer  what  doth  most  cre- 
ate 
His  own  particular  fright,  so  these  three 

felt:  890 

Or  like  one  who,  in  after  ages,  knelt 
To  Lucifer  or  Baal,  when  he  'd  pine 
After  a  little  sleep:  or  when  in  mine 
Far    under-ground,  a  sleeper    meets    his 

friends 
Who  know  him  not.   £ach  diligently  bends 
Towards  common  thoughts  and  things  for 

very  fear; 
Striving  their  ghastly  malady  to  cheer. 
By  thinking  it  a  thing  of  yes  and  no. 
That  housewives  talk  of.    But  the  spirit- 
blow 
Was  struck,  and  all  were  dreamers.    At 

the  last  900 

£ndymion   said:    *  Are  not  our  fates  all 

cast? 
Why  stand  we  here?    Adieu,  ye  tender 

pair  1 
Adieu ! '      Whereat  those   maidens,   with 

wild  stare, 
Walk'd  dizzily  away.     Pained  and  hot 
His  eyes  went  after  them,  until  they  got 
Near  to  a  cypress  grove,  whose  deadly 

maw, 
In  one  swift  moment,  would  what  then  he 

saw 
Engulf  for  ever.     'Stay,'  he  cried,  'ah, 

stay  1 
Turn,  damsels  !  hist !  one  word  I  have  to 

say: 
Sweet  Indian,  I  would  see  thee  once  again. 
It  is  a  thing  I  dote  on:  so  I  'd  fain,         911 
Peona,  ye  should  hand  in  hand  re^aix^ 


io8 


ENDYMION 


Into  those  holy  groves  that  silent  are 
Behind  great  Dian's  temple.    1 11  be  yon, 
At   Vesper's  earliest  twinkle  —  they  are 

gone  — 
But  once,  once,  once  again  — '    At  this  he 

press'd 
His  hands  against  his  face,  and  then  did 

rest 
His  head  upon  a  mossy  hillock  green, 
And  so  remained  as  he  a  corpse  had  been 
All  the  long  day;  save  when  he  scantly 

lifted  920 

His  eyes  abroad,  to  see  how  shadows  shifted 
With  the  slow  move  of  time,  —  sluggish 

and  weary 
Until  the  poplar  tops,  in  journey  dreary. 
Had  reach'd  the  river's  brim.    Then  up  he 

rose, 
And,  slowly  as  that  very  river  flows, 
Walk'd  towards  the  temple  grove  with  this 

lament: 
*  Why  such  a  golden  eve  ?    The  breeze  is 

sent 
Careful  and  soft,  that  not  a  leaf  may  fall 
Before  the  serene  father  of  them  all 
Bows  down  his  summer  head  below  the 

west.  930 

Now  am  I  of  breath,  speech,  and  speed 

possest. 
But  at  the  setting  I  must  bid  adieu 
To  her  for  the  last  time.     Night  will*strew 
On  the  damp  grass  myriads  of  lingering 

leaves, 
And  with  them  shall  I  die;  nor  much  it 

grieves 
To  die,  when  summer  dies  on  the  cold 

sward. 
Why,  I  have  been  a  butterfly,  a  lord 
Of  flowers,  garlands,  love-knots,  silly  po- 
sies. 
Groves,  meadows,  melodies,  and  arbour- 
roses;  939 
My  kingdom  's  at  its  death,  and  just  it  is 
That  I  should  die  with  it:  so  in  all  this 
We  miscall  grief,  bale,  sorrow,  heart-break, 

woe, 
What  is  there  to  plain  of  ?    By  Titan's  foe 
I  am  but  rightly  served.'    So  saying,  he 


Tripp'd  lightly  on,  in  sort  of  deathful  glee; 
Laughing  at  the  dear  stream  and  setting 

sun. 
As  though  they  jests  had  been:  nor  had  he 

done 
HiB  laugh  at  nature's  holy  countenance. 
Until  that  grove  appear'd,  as  if  perchance, 
And  then  his  tongue  with  sober  seemlihed 
Gave  utterance  as  he  enter'd:  <  Ha ! '   I 

said,  95 1 

*  King  of  the  butterflies;  but  by  this  gloom, 
And  by  old  Rhadamanthus'  tongue  of  doom. 
This  dusk  religion,  pomp  of  solitude. 
And  the  Promethean  clay  by  thief  endued. 
By  old  Satumus'  forelock,  by  his  head 
Shook  with  eternal  palsy,  I  did  wed 
Myself  to  things  of  light  from  infancy; 
And  thus  to  be  cast  out,  thus  lorn  to  die. 
Is  sure  enough  to  make  a  mortal  man     960 
Grow  impious.'    So  he  inwardly  began 
On  things  for  which  no  wording  can  be 

found; 
Deeper  and  deeper  sinking,  until  drown'd 
Beyond  the  reach  of  music:  for  the  choir 
Of  Cynthia  he  heard  not,  though  rough 

brier 
Nor  muffling  thicket  interposed  to  dull 
The  vesper  hymn,  far  swollen,  soft  and  full, 
Through  the  dark  pillars  of  those  sylvan 

aisles. 
He  saw  not  the  two  maidens,  nor  their 

smiles. 
Wan  as  primroses  gather'd  at  midnight  970 
By  chilly-finger'd  spring.  *  Unhappy  wight ! 
Endymion  I '  said  Peona, '  we  are  here  ! 
What  wouldst  thou  ere  we  all  are  laid  on 

bier  ? ' 
Then  he  embraced  her,  and  his  lady's  hand 
Press'd,  saying:  '  Sbter,  I  would  have  com- 
mand. 
If  it  were  heaven's  will,  on  our  sad  fate.' 
At  which  that  dark-eyed  stranger  stood 

elate 
And  said,  in  a  new  voice,  but  sweet  as  love, 
To  Endymion's  amaze:  <By  Cupid's  dove. 
And  so  thou  shalt  I  and  by  the  lily  truth 
Of  my  own  breast    thou  shalt,   beloved 

youth  1 '  981 


BOOK  FOURTH 


109 


And  as  slie   spake,  into  her  face  there 


Light,  aa  reflected  from  a  silyer  flame: 
Her  hmg  Uaek  hair  swelTd  ampler,  in  dis- 

l3ay 
Foil  golden;  in  her  eyes  a  brighter  day 
Ikwn'd  Uoe,  and  full  of  love.     Aye,  he 

beheld 
jphcebe,  his  passicm  I  joyons  she  upheld 
Her  hicid  bow,  oontinoing  thus:  '*  Drear, 

drear 
Has  our  delaying  been;  but  foolish  fear 
IHthheld  me  first;  and  then  decrees  of 

fate;  990 

And  then  't  was  fit  that  from  this  mortal 

state 


Thou  shouldst,  my  love,  by  some  unlook'd- 

for  change 
Be  spiritoalized.    Peona,  we  shall  range 
These  forests,  and  to  thee  they  safe  shaU  be 
As  was  thy  cradle;  hither  shalt  thou  flee 
To  meet  us  many  a  time.'    Next  Cynthia 

bright 
Peona  kiss'd,  and  bless'd  with  fair  good 

night: 
Her  brother  kiss'd  her  too,  and  knelt  adown 
Before  his  goddess,  in  a  blissful  swoon.  999 
She  gave  her  fair  hands  to  him,  and  behold. 
Before  three  swiftest  kisses  he  bad  told. 
They  vanish'd  far  away  I  —  Peona  went 
Home  through  the  gloomy  wood  in  won^ 

dermeut. 


THE   POEMS   OF   1818-1819 


The  most  pregnant  year  of  Keats's  genius 
was  that  which  dates  roughly  from  the 
spring  of  1818  to  the  spring  of  1819,  as 
one  may  readily  see  who  scans  the  titles  of 
the  poems  included  in  this  division.  The 
group  here  g^ven,  beginning  with  IsabeUa 

ISABELLA,    OR  THE   POT   OF 

BASIL 

A  STORY  FROM  BOCCACCIO 

Keats  and  Reynolds  projected  a  volume  of 
metrical  tales  translated  from  or  based  on  Boo- 
caooio.  Apparently,  Keats  began  IsabeUa, 
which  was  to  be  one  of  his  contributions,  some 
thne  before  he  went  to  Teignmouth,  where  he 
finished  Endymion.  At  any  rate,  from  that 
place  April  27,  1818,  he  wrote  to  Reynolds, 
who  was  then  quite  ill :  *  I  have  written  for  my 
folio  Shakespeare,  in  which  there  are  the  first 
few  stanzas  of  my  Pot  of  Basil,  I  have  the 
rest  here  finished,  and  will  copy  the  whole  out 
f urly  shortly,  and  G^rge  will  bring  it  you  — 
The  compliment  is  paid  by  us  to  Boccace, 
whether  we  publish  or  no :  so  there  is  content 
in  this  world — mine  is  short  —  you  must  be 
deliberate  about  yours ;  you  must  not  think  of 
it  till  many  months  after  you  are  quite  well : 
then  put  your  passion  to  it,  and  I  shall  be 
bound  up  with  you  in  the  shadows  of  Mind,  as 
we  are  in  our  matters  of  human  life.*  Keats 
did  not  wait  for  Reynolds,  but  published  his 
IsabeUa  in  the  Yolome  entitled  JLamta,  Isabdla, 
The  Eve  of  St.  Agnes^  and  other  Poems  issued 
in  the  summer  of  1820. 


Fair  Isabel,  poor  simple  Isabel ! 

Lorenzo,  a  young  palmer  in  Love's  eye  I 
They  could  not  in  the  self-same  mansion 
dwell 
Without  some  stir  of  heart,  some  mal- 
ady; 


and  closing  with  Lamia,  includes,  besides 
those  poems  and  7^  Eve  of  St.  Agnes,  the 
great  Odes,  Fancy,  and  some  of  the  notable 
Sonnets.  The  division,  besides  being  a  con- 
venient one,  seems  almost  logical  and  not 
merely  chronological. 

They  could  not  sit  at  meab  but  feel  how 

well 
It  soothed  each  to  be  the  other  by; 
They  could  not,  sure,  beneath  the  same 

roof  sleep 
But  to  each  other  dream,  and  nightly  weep. 

II 
With  every  mom  their  love  grew  tenderer, 
With  every  eve  deeper  and  tenderer  still; 
He  might  not  in  house,  field,  or  garden 
stir, 
Bat  her  full  shape  would  all  his  seeing 
fill; 
And  his  continual  voice  was  pleasanter 

To  her,  than  noise  of  trees  or  hidden  rill; 
Her  lute-string  gave  an  echo  of  his  name, 
She  spoilt  her  half-done  broidery  with  the 


same. 


Ill 


He  knew  whose  gentle  hand  was  at  the 
latch, 
Before  the  door  had  given  her  to  his 
eyes; 
And  from  her  chamber-window  he  would 
catch 
Her  beauty  farther  than  the  falcon  spies; 
And  constant  as  her   vespers  would   he 
watch, 
Because  her  face  was  tum'd  to  the  same 
skies; 
And  with  sick  longing  all  the  ni^t  out* 

wear. 
To  hear  her  morning^tep  upon  the  stair. 


110 


ISABELLA,   OR  THE   POT  OF  BASIL 


HI 


IV 

A  whole  hmg  month  of  May  in  this  sad 
pli^t 
Made  their  cheeks  paler  by  the  break  of 
Jane: 

*  To-morrow  will  I  bow  to  my  delight, 

To-morrow  will  I  ask  my  lady's  boon.'  — 

*  0  may  I  never  see  another  night, 

Lorenzo,  if  thy  lips  breathe  not  love's 
tone.'  — 
So  spake  they  to  their  pillows;  but,  alas, 
Honeylees  days  and  days  did  he  let  pass; 


Until  sweet  Isabella's  nntouch'd  cheek 

Fell  sick  within  the  rose's  just  domain, 
Fell  thin  as  a  young  mother's,  who  doth 


'  Lorenzo  I '  —  here  she   ceased  her  tindd 

quest, 
But  in  her  tone  and  look  he  read  the  rest. 


By  every  loll  to  cool  her  infant's  pain: 
'How  ill  she  is  I'  said  he,  *I  may  not 
speak. 
And  yet  I  will,  and  tell  my  love  all  plain: 
If  looks  speak  love-laws,  I  will  drink  her 

tears, 
And  at  the  least  't  will  startle  off  her 


VI 

So  Slid  he  one  fair  morning,  and  all  day 
His  heart  beat  awfully  against  his  side; 

And  to  his  heart  he  inwardly  did  pray 
For  power  to  speak;  but  still  the  ruddy 
tide 

Stifled  his  voice,  and  pulsed  resolve  away  — 
Fever'd  his  high  conceit  of  such  a  bride, 

Tet  brought  him  to  the  meekness  of  a 
ehild: 

Alas!  when  passion  is  both  meek  and  wild  ! 

VII 

So  onee  more  he  had  waked  and  anguished 
A  dreaxy  night  of  love  and  misery, 

If  Isabel's  quick  eye  had  not  been  wed 
To  every  symbol  on  his  forehead  high: 

She  saw  it  waxing  very  pale  and  dead, 
And  straight  all  flush'd;  so,  lisped  ten- 
derly, 


VIII 

*  O  Isabella,  I  can  half  perceive 

That  I  may  speak  my  grief  into  thine  ear; 
If  thou  didst  ever  any  thing  believe, 
Believe  how  I  love  thee,  believe  how 
near 
My  soul  is  to  its  doom:  I  would  not  grieve 
Thy  hand  by  unwelcome  pressing,  would 
not  fear 
Thine  eyes  by  gazing;  but  I  cannot  live 
Another  night,  and  not  my  passion  shrive. 

IX 

*  Love !  thou  art  leading  me  from  wintry 

cold, 
Lady  I  thou  leadest  me  to  summer  dime. 
And  I  must  taste  the  blossoms  that  unfold 
In  its  ripe  vrarmth  this  gracious  morning 
time.' 
So  said,  his  erewhile  timid  lips  g^w  bold, 
And  poesied  with  hers  in  dewy  rhyme: 
Great  bliss  was  with  them,  and  great  hap- 
piness 
Grew,  like  a  lusty  flower  in  June's  caress. 


Parting  they  seem'd  to  tread  upon  the  air, 
Twin  roses  by  the  zephyr  blown  apart 

Only  to  meet  again  more  close,  and  share 
The  inward  frag^rance  of  each  other^s 
heart. 

She,  to  her  chamber  gone,  a  ditty  fair 
Sang,  of  delicious  love  and  honey 'd  dart; 

He  with  light  steps  went  up  a  western  hill, 

And  bade  the  sun  farewell,  and  joy'd  his 

mi. 

XI 

All  close  they  met  again,  before  the  dusk 
Had  taken  from  the  stars  its  pleasant 
veil, 
All  close  they  met,  all  eves,  before  the  dusk 
Had  taken  from  the  stars  its  'pleasaat 
veil, 


112 


THE  POEMS   OF   1818-1819 


Close  in  a  bower  of  hyacinth  and  musk, 
Unknown  of  any,  free  from  whispering 
tale. 
Ah  I  better  had  it  been  for  ever  so, 
Than  idle  ears  should  pleasure  in  their 


woe. 


XII 


Were    they  unhappy  then  ?  —  It  cannot 
be  — 
Too  many  tears  for  lovers  have  been 
shed, 
Too  many  sighs  give  we  to  them  in  fee. 
Too  much  of  pity  after  they  are  dead, 
Too  many  doleful  stories  do  we  see, 

Whose  matter  in  bright  gold  were  best 
be  read; 
Except  in  such  a  page   where    Theseus* 

spouse 
Over  the  pathless  waves  towards  him  bows. 

XIII 

But,  for  the  general  award  of  love. 
The  little  sweet  doth  kill  much  bitter- 
ness; 
Though  Dido  silent  is  in  under-grove. 
And  Isabella's  was  a  great  distress, 
Though  young  Lorenzo  in  warm  Indian 
clove 
Was  not  embalm'd,  this  truth  is  not  the 
less — 
Even  bees,  the  little  almsmen  of  spring- 
bowers. 
Know    there   is  richest    juice  in  poison- 
flowers. 

XIV 

With  her  two  brothers  this  fair  lady  dwelt. 
Enriched  from  ancestral  merchandise. 

And  for  them  many  a  weary  hand  did  swelt 
In  torched  mines  and  noisy  factories, 

And  many  once  proud-quiver'd  loins  did 
melt 
In   blood   from    stinging  whip;  —  with 
hollow  eyes 

Many  all  day  in  dazzling  river  stood. 

To  take  the  rich-ored  drif  tings  of  the  flood. 


XV 

For  them  the  Ceylon  diver  held  his  breath. 
And  went  all  naked  to  the  hungry  shark; 
For  them  his  ears  gush'd  blood;  for  them 
in  death 
The  seal  on  the  cold  ice  with  piteoos 
bark 
Lay  full  of  darts;    for  them    alone  did 
seethe 
A  thousand  men  in  troubles  wide  and 
dark: 
Half-ignorant,  they  tum*d  an  easy  wheel. 
That  set  sharp  racks  at  work,  to  pinch  and 
peel. 

XVI 

Why  were  they  proud?     Because  their 

marble  founts 
Gush'd    with    more    pride    than    do    a 

wretch's  tears  ?  — 
Why  were  they    proud  ?      Because    fair 

orange-mounts 
Were  of  more  soft  ascent  than  laxar 

stairs? — 
Why  were    they  proud  ?      Because  red- 
lined  accounts 
Were  richer  than  the  songs  of  Grecian 

years  ?  — 
Why  were    they  proud?    again  we    ask 

aloud. 
Why  in  the  name  of    Glory  were  they 

proud? 

XVII 

Yet  were  these  Florentines  as  self-retired 
In  hungry  pride  and  gainful  cowardice. 
As  two  close  Hebrews  in  that  land  inspired, 
Paled  in  and  vineyarded  from  beggar- 
spies; 
The  hawks  of  sl^p-mast  forests  —  the  un- 
tired 
And  pannier'd  mules  for  ducats  and  old 
lies  — 
Quick  cat's-paws  on  the  generous  stray- 
away,  — 
Great  wits  in  Spanish,  Tuscan,  and  Malay. 


ISABELLA,   OR  THE  POT  OF  BASIL 


"3 


xvm 


How  wms  it  these  same  ledgeivmen  ooold 


Fair  Tihena  in  her  downy  nest  ? 
How  ooold  they  find  out  in  Lorenzo's  eye 
A  straying  from  his  toil  ?    Hot  Egypt's 
pest 
Into  their  Tision  covetous  and  sly  I 
How  coold  these  money-bags  see  east 
and  west?  — 
Yet  so  they  did  —  and  every  dealer  fair 
Host  see  behind,  as  doth  the  hunted  hare. 

XIX 

0  eloquent  and  famed  Boccaccio  I 
Of  thee  we  now  should  ask  forgiving 
boon. 
And  of  thy  spicy  myrtles  as  they  blow, 

And  of  thy  roses  amorous  of  the  moon, 
And  of  thy  lilies,  that  do  paler  grow 
Now  they  can  no  more  hear  thy  ghittem's 
tone. 
For  ventoring  syllables  that  ill  beseem 
quiet  glooms  of  sueh  a  piteous  theme. 

XX 

thoo  a  pardon  here,  and  then  the  tale 
Shall  naove  on  soberly,  as  it  is  meet; 
There  is  no  other  crime,  no  mad  assail 
To  make  old  prose  in  modem  rhyme 
more  sweet: 
But  it  isdoaie  —  succeed  the  verse  or  fail  — 
To  honour  thee,   and  thy  gone   spirit 
greet; 
To  sisad  thee  as  a  verse  in  English  tongue, 
of  thee  in  the  north-wind  sung. 

XXI 

brethren    having  found    by  many 


What  love  Lorenzo  for  their  sister  had, 

bow  she  loved  him  too,  each  nnconfines 
His  hitter  thoughts  to  other,  well-nigh 


Ihit  be,  the  servmnt  of  their  trade  designs, 
Aoald  m  their  sister's  love  be  blithe  and 
glad. 


When  't  was  their  plan  to  coax  her  by  de- 
grees 
To  some  high  noble  and  his  olive-trees. 

XXII 

And  many  a  jealous  conference  had  they. 
And  many  times  they  bit  their  lips  alone. 

Before  they  fix'd  upon  a  surest  way 
To  make  the  youngster  for  his  crime 
atoue; 

And  at  the  last,  these  men  of  cruel  clay 
Cut  Mercy  with  a  sharp  knife  to  the  bon^ 

For  they  resolved  in  some  forest  dim 

To  kill  Lorenzo,  and  there  bury  him. 

XXIII 

So  on  a  pleasant  morning,  as  he  leant 
Into  the  sunrise,  o'er  the  balustrade 

Of  the  garden-terrace,  towards  him  they 
bent 
Their  footing  through  the  dews;  and  to 
him  said, 

'  Tou  seem  there  in  the  quiet  of  content, 
Lorenzo,  and  we  are  most  loth  to  invade 

Calm  speculation;  but  if  you  are  wise. 

Bestride  your  steed  while  cold  is  in  the  skies. 

XXIV 

'To-day    we    purpose,  aye,  this  hour  we 
mount 
To  spur  three  leagues  towards  the  Apen- 
uine; 
Come  down,  we  pray  thee,  ere  the  hot  sun 
count 
His  dewy  rosary  on  the  eglantine.' 
Lorenzo,  courteously  as  he  was  wont, 
Bow'd  a  fair  greeting  to  these  serpents* 
whine ; 
And  went  in  haste,  to  get  in  readiness. 
With  belt,  and  spur,  and  bracing  hunts- 
man's dress. 

XXV 

And  as  he  to  the  court-yard  pass'd  along, 
Each  third  step  did  he  pause,  and  lis- 
ten'd  oft 

If  he  could  hear  his  lady's  matin-song. 
Or  the  light  whisper  of  her  footstep  8oft\ 


114 


THE  POEMS  OF   1818-1819 


And  as  he  thus  over  his  passion  hung, 
He  heard  a  laugh  full  musical  aloft; 
When,  looking  up,  he  saw  her  features 

bright 
Smile  through  an  in-door  lattice,  all  delight. 

xxyi 

'  Love,  Isabel!  *  said  he,  *  I  was  in  pain 
Lest  I  should  miss  to  bid  thee  a  good 
morrow: 
Ah !  what  if  I  should  lose  thee,  when  so 
fain 
I  am  to  stifle  all  the  heavy  sorrow 
Of  a  poor  three  hours'  absence  ?  but  we  11 
gain 
Out  of  the  amorous  dark  what  day  doth 
borrow. 
Good  bye  1    1 11  soon  be  back.'  —  '  Good 

bye  !'  said  she:  — 
And  as  he  went  she  chanted  merrily. 

XXVII 

So  the  two  brothers  and  their  murder'd 
man 
Rode  past  fair  Florence,  to  where  Amo's 
stream 
Gurgles  through  straightened  banks,  and 
still  doth  fan 
Itself  with  dancing    bulrush,   and    the 
bream 
Keeps  head  against  the  freshets.     Sick  and 
wan 
The  brothers'  faces  in  the  ford  did  seem, 
Lorenzo's  flush  with  love.  —  They  pass'd  the 

water 
Into  a  forest  quiet  for  the  slaughter. 

XXVIII 

There  was  Lorenzo  slain  and  buried  in, 
There  in  that  forest  did  his  great  love 
cease; 
Ah  I  when  a  soul  doth  thus  its  freedom 
win, 
It  aches  in  loneliness  —  is  ill  at  peace 
As  the  break-covert  bloodhounds  of  such 
sin: 
They  dipp'd  their  swords  in  the  water, 
and  did  tease 


Their  horses   homeward,  with  convulsed 

spur. 
Each  richer  by  his  being  a  murderer. 

XXIX 

They  told  their  sister  how,  with  sadden 
speed, 
Lorenzo  had  ta'en  ship  for  foreign  lands. 
Because  of  some  great  urgency  and  need 
In  their  affairs,  requiring  trusty  hands. 
Poor  Girl  1  put  on  thy  stifling  widow's  weed, 
•  And  'scape  at  once  from  Hope's  accursed 
bands; 
To-day  thou  wilt  not  see  him,  nor  to-morrow, 
And  the  next  day  will  be  a  day  of  sorrow. 

XXX 

She  weeps  alone  for  pleasures  not  to  be; 

Sorely  she  wept  until  the  night  came  on. 
And  then,  instead  of  love,  O  misery  1 

She  brooded  o'er  the  luxury  alone: 
His  image  in  the  dusk  she  seem'd  to  see. 

And  to  the  silence  made  a  gentle  moan. 
Spreading  her  perfect  arms  upon  the  air. 
And     on     her    couch     low     murmuring^ 
'Where?    O  where?' 

XXXI 

But  Selfishness,  Love's  cousin,  held  not  long 
Its  fiery  vigil  in  her  single  breast; 

She  fretted  for  the  golden  hour,  and  hung 
Upon  the  time  with  feverish  unrest  — 

Not  long  —  for  soon  into  her  heart  a  throng 
Of  higher  occupants,  a  richer  zest. 

Came  tragic;  passion  not  to  be  subdued. 

And  sorrow  for  her  love  in  travels  rude. 

XXXII 

In  the  mid  days  of  autunm,  on  their  eves 
The  breath  of  Winter  comes  from  tu 
away. 

And  the  sick  west  continually  bereaves 
Of  some  gold  tinge,  and  plays  a  rounde- 
lay 

Of  death  among  the  bushes  and  the  leav«| 
To  make  all  bare  before  he  dares  to  stray 

From  his  north  cavern.     So  sweet  Isabel 

By  gradual  decay  from  beauty  fell. 


ISABELLA,  OR  THE  POT  OF  BASIL 


"S 


XXXIII 

Becaiae  Lomuo  came  not.    Oftentimes 
She  ftflk'd  her  brothers,  with  an  eye  all 
Dale. 
8trhrin|^  to  be  itself,  what  dungeon  climes 
Could  keep  him  off  so  long  ?    They  spake 
atale 
Time  after    time,  to  quiet  her.      Their 
crimes 
Came  on  them,  like  a  smoke  from  Hin- 
nom*s  Tale; 
And  erexy  night  in  dreams  they  groan'd 

alond. 
To  see  their  sister  in  her  snowy  shroud. 


XXXIV 

And  she  had  died  in  drowsy  ignorance, 
Bui  for  a  thing  more  deadly  dark  than 

•II; 

It  eame  like  a  fierce  potion,  drunk  by 
chance. 
Which  sares  a  sick  man  from  the  feath- 
ered pall 

For  some  few  gasping  moments;  like  a 


Waking  an  Indian  from  his  cloudy  hall 
Witk  emel  pierce,  and  bringing  him  again 
ScBM  el  the  gnawing  fire  at  heart  and 
brain. 

XXXV 

It  was  a  Tision.  —  In  the  drowsy  gloom, 
The  dnll  of  midnight,  at  her  couch's  foot 

Lmmmo  stood,  and  wept:  the  forest  tomb 
Had  marr'd  his  glossy  hair  which  once 
eonld  shoot 

ImUij  into  the  sun,  and  put  cold  doom 
Upon  hb  lips,  and  taken  the  soft  lute 

Fumb  hb  lorn  Toice,  and  past  his  loamed 


Bad  Bade  a  miry  channel  for  his  tears. 

XXXVI 

tooad  it  was,  when  the  pale  shadow 


Far  there  was  striving,  in  its  piteous 


To  speak  as  when  on  earth  it  was  awake. 

And  Isabella  on  its  music  hung: 
Languor  there  was  in  it,  and  tremulous 
shake, 
As  in  a  palsied  Druid's  harp  unstrung; 
And  through  it  moan'd  a  ghostly  under- 
song, 
Like  hoarse  night-gusts  sepulchral  briars 
among. 

XXXVII 

Its  eyes,  though  wild,  were  still  all  dewy 

bright 
With  love,  and  kept  all  phantom  fear 

aloof 
From  the  poor  girl  by  magic  of  their  light. 
The  while  it  did  unthread  the  horrid 

woof 
Of  the  late  darkened  time,  —  the  murder- 
ous spite 
Of  pride  and  avarice,  —  the  dark  pine 

roof 
In  the  forest,  —  and  the  sodden    turfed 

dell, 
Where,  without  any  word,  from  stabs  he 

feU. 

XXXVIII 

Saying  moreover,  *  Isabel,  my  sweet ! 
Red    whortleberries    droop    above    my 
head, 
And  a  large  flint-stone  weighs  upon  my 
feet; 
Around  me  beeches  and  high  chestnuts 
shed 
Their  leaves  and  prickly  nuts;  a  sheepfold 
bleat 
Comes  from  beyond  the  river  to  my  bed: 
Go,  shed  one  tear  upon  my  heather-bloom. 
And  it  shall  comfort  me  within  the  tomb. 

XXXIX 

'  I  am  a  shadow  now,  alas  !  alas ! 

Upon  the  skirts  of  human  nature  dwell* 
ing 
Alone:  I  chant  alone  the  holy  mass, 
While  little  sounds  of  life  are  round  me 
knelling. 


ii6 


THE  POEMS  OF   1818-1819 


And  glossy  bees  at  noon  do  fieldward  pass, 
And  many  a  chapel  bell  the  hour  is  tell- 
ing, 

Paining  me  through:  those  sounds  grow 
strange  to  me, 

And  thou  art  distant  in  Humanity. 

XL 

'  I  know  what  was,  I  feel  full  well  what  is. 
And  I  should  rage,  if  spirits  could  go 
mad; 
Though  I  forget  the  taste  of  earthly  bibs. 
That    paleness    warms    my    grave,    as 
though  I  had 
A  Seraph  chosen  from  the  bright  abyss 
To  be  my  spouse:  thy  paleness  makes 
me  glad; 
Thy  beauty  grows  upon  me,  and  I  feel 
A    greater  love  through  all  my  essence 
steal.* 

XLI 

The  Spirit  moum'd  '  Adieu !  *  —  dissolved, 
and  left 
The  atom  darkness  in  a  slow  turmoil; 
As  when  of  healthful  midnight  sleep  be- 
reft. 
Thinking  on  rugged  hours  and  fruitless 
toil, 
We  put  our  eyes  into  a  pillowy  cleft. 
And  see  the  spangly  gloom  froth  up  and 
boil: 
It  made  sad  Isabella's  eyelids  ache. 
And  in  the  dawn  she  staxted  up  awake 

XLII 

*  Ha  I  ha  I '  said  she,  *  I  knew  not  this  hard 
life, 
I  thought  the  worst  was  simple  misery; 
I  thought  some  Fate  with  pleasure  or  with 
strife 
Portion'd  us  —  happy  days,  or  else  to 
die; 
But  there  is  crime  —  a  brother's  bloody 
knife  ! 
Sweet  Spirit,  thou  hast  school'd  my  in- 
fancy: 
I  '11  visit  thee  for  this,  and  kiss  thine  eyes. 
And  greet  thee  mom  and  even  in  the  skies.' 


XLIII 

When  the  full  morning  came,  she  had  de- 
vised 
How  she  might  secret  to  the  forest  hie; 
How  she  might  find  the  clay,  so  dearly 
prized. 
And  sing  to  it  one  latest  lullaby; 
How  her  short  absence  might  be  unsur- 
mised. 
While  she  the  inmost  of  the  dream  would 
try. 
Resolved,  she  took  with  her  an  aged  nurse, 
And  went  into  that  dismal  forest-hearse. 

XLIV 
Sfl^,  ^  tbfty  ftreftp  itlong  the  rivef  tf\df^ 

How  she  doth  whisper    to    that  aged 
Same, 
And,  after  looking  round  the  champaign 
wide. 
Shows  her  a  knife.  —  'What  feverous 
hectic  flame 
Bums  in  thee,   child?  —  what  good  can 
thee  betide. 
That  thou   shouldst    smile    again?'  — 
The  evening  came, . 
^gdJfl^gy.  .^ftd  found  Lorenzo's  earthy  bed; 
JThe  ^tjiASLth^re,  the  berries  at  his  head. 

XLV 

Who  hath  not  loiter'd  in  a  green  ohnreh- 
yard. 
And  let  his  spirit,  like  a  demon-mole, 
Work  through  the  clayey  soil  and  gravel 
hard. 
To  see  skull,  coffin'd  bones,  and  funeral 
stole; 
Pitying  each  form  that  hungry  Death  hath 
marr*d, 
And  filling  it  once  more  with  human  soul  ? 
Ah  !  this  is  holiday  to  what  was  felt 
When  Isabella  by  Lorenzo  knelt. 

XLVI 

She  gazed  into  the  fresh-thro^m  ^"^"^'^i  — 
_jthough 
One  glance  did  f uUy^Ujj 


ISABELLA,   OR  THE  POT  OF  BASIL 


117 


Clearlj  she  saw,  as  other  eyes  would  know 
Fde  limbs  at  bottom  of  a  crystal  well; 

Upon  the  muzderoos  spot  she  seem'd  to 
grow. 
Like  to  a  natiTe  lily  of  the  dell: 

Then  with  her  knife,  all  sadden,  she  began 

t^o  dig  more  I enrentlj  than  misers  can. 

XLVII 

Soon  she  tnm'd  up  a  soiled  glove,  whereon 
Her  silk  had  play'd  in  purple  phanta- 


She  kias'd  it  with  a  lip  more  chill  than 
stone. 
And  pat  it  in  her  bosom,  where  it  dries 
And  freezes  utterly  unto  the  bone 
Tbose  dainties  made  to  still  an  infant's 
cries; 
Then  'gan  she  work  again;  nor  stay'd  her 


Bat  to  throw  back  at  times  her  veiling  hair. 

XLVIII 

That  old  nurse  stood  beside  her  wonder- 

ing> 
Untfl  her  heart  felt  pity  to  the  core 

At  s^ht  of  such  a  dismal  labouring, 

And  so  she  kneeled,  with  her  locks  all 

hoar. 

And  pot  her  lean   hands  to    the  horrid 

thing: 

Thrae  hoars  they  labour'd  at  this  travail 

sore: 

At  last  they  felt  the  kernel  of  the  g^ve, 

And  Isab»Ma  di'^  n^t  nUswf  and  rave. 

XLIX 

Ahf    wherefore   all  this    wormy  circum- 
stanee? 
Why  linger  at  the  yawning  tomb    so 
Umg? 
0  for  the  gentleness  of  old  Romance, 

The  simple  plaining  of  a  minstrel's  song  I 
fair  reader,  at  the  old  tale  take  a  glance, 
For  here,  in  truth,  it  doth  not  well  be- 

Xi  speak: — O  torn  thee  to  the  very  tale, 
the  nmaic  of  that  vision  pale. 


With  duller  steel  than  the  Persian  sword 
They  cut  away  no  formless  monster's 
head, 
But  one,  whose  gentleness  did  well  accord 
With  death,  as  life.    The  ancient  harps 
have  said, 
Love  never  dies,  but  lives,  inmiortal  Lord: 

If  Love  impersonate  was  ever  dead, 
Pale  Isabella  kiss'd  it,  and  low  moan'd. 
'Twas  love;  cold,  —  dead  indeed,  but  not 
dethron'd. 

LI 

In  anxious  secrecy  they  took  it  home, 

And  then  the  prize  was  all  for  Isabel: 
She  calm'd  its  wild  hair  with  a  golden 
comb, 
And  all  around  each  eye's  sepulchral  cell 
Pointed  each  fringed  lash;  the  smeared 
loam 
With  tears,  as  chiUy  as  a  dripping  well, 
She  drench'd  away:  and  still  she  comb'd, 

and  kept 
Sighing  all  day  —  and  still  she  kiss'd  and 
wept. 

LII 

Then  in  a  silken  scarf,  —  sweet  with  the 
dews 
Of  precious  flowers  pluck'd  in  Araby, 
And  divine  liquids  come  with  odorous  ooze 
Through  the  cold  serpent-pipe  refresh- 
fully,  - 
She  wrapp'd  it  up;  and  for  its  tomb  did 
choose 
A  garden-pot,  wherein  she  laid  it  by. 
And  cover'd  it  with  mould,  and  o'er  it  set 
Sweet  Basil,  which  her  tears  kept  ever  wet. 

LIII 

And  she  forgot  the  stars,  the  moon,  and 

sun, 

And  she  forgot  the  blue  above  the  trees. 

And  she  forgot  the   dells  where  waters 

run, 

And  she  forgot  the  chiUy  autumn  bieeia\ 


if6 


THE  POEMS  OF   1818-1819 


She  had  no  knowledge  when  the  day  was 

done, 
And  the  new  mom  she  saw  not:  but  in 

peace 
Hong  over  her  sweet  Basil  evermore, 
And  moisten'd  it  with  tears  unto  the  core. 

LIV 

And  so  she  ever  fed  it  with  thin  tears, 
Whence  thick,  and  green,  and  beautiful 
it  grew. 
So  that  it  smelt  more  balmy  than  its  peers 

Of  Basil-tufts  in  Florence;  for  it  drew 
Nurture   besides,  and   life,  from    human 
fears. 
From  the  fast  mouldering  head  there 
shut  from  view: 
So  that  the  jewel,  safely  casketed, 
Came  forth,  and  in  perfumed  leafits  spread. 

LV 

« 

O  Melancholy,  linger  here  awhile  I 

v)  Music,  Music,  breathe  despondingly  ! 

O  Echo,  Echo,  from  some  sombre  isle. 
Unknown,  Lethean,  sigh  to  us  —  O  sigh ! 

Spirits  in  grief,  lift  up  your  heads,  and 
smile; 
Lift  up  your  heads,  sweet  Spirits,  heavily. 

And  make  a  pale  light  in  your  cypress 
glooms. 

Tinting  with  silver  wan  your  marble  tombs. 

LVI 

Moan  hither,  all  ye  syllables  of  woe. 
From  the  deep  throat  of  sad  Melpomene  ! 

Through  bronzed  lyre  in  tragic  order  go, 
And  touch  the  strings  into  a  mystery; 

Sound  mournfully  upon  the  winds  and  low; 
For  simple  Isabel  is  soon  to  be 

Among  the  dead:  She  withers,  like  a  palm 

Cut  by  an  Indian  for  its  juicy  balm. 

LVII 

O  leave  the  palm  to  wither  by  itself; 

Let  not  quick  Winter  chill  its  dying 
hour ! — 
It  may  not  be  —  those  Baftlites  of  pelf. 

Her  brethren,  noted  the  continual  shower 


From  her  dead  eyes;  and  many  a  carious 

elf. 
Among  her  kindred,  wonder'd  that  such 

dower 
Of  youth  and  beauty  should  be  thrown  aside 
By  one  mark'd  out  to  be  a  Noble's  bride. 

LVIII 

And,  furthermore,  her  brethren  wonder'd 
much 
Why  she  sat  drooping  by  the  Basil  green. 
And  why  it  flourished,  as  by  magic  touch; 
GreaUy  they  wonder'd  what  the  thing 
might  mean: 
They  could  not  surely  gfive  belief,  that  such 
A  very  nothing  would  have   power  to 
wean 
Her  from  her  own  fair  youth,  and  pleasnrea 

gayt 
And  even  remembrance  of  her  love*s  delay» 

LIX 

Therefore  they  watch'd  a  time  when  they 
might  sift 
This  hidden  whim;  and  long  they  watch'd 
in  vain; 
For  seldom  did  she  go  to  chapel-shrift. 
And  seldom  felt  she  any  hunger-pain: 
And  when  she  left,  she  hurried  back,  as 
swift 
As  bird  on  wing  to  breast  its  eggs  again: 
And,  patient  as  a  ben-bird,  sat  her  there 
Beside  her  Basil,  weeping  through  her  hair» 

LX 

Yet  they_contrived  to  ete^ihfiJBasil-pot,  . 

^  And  to  examine  it  in  ^eczet  ^lace : 

The  thing  was  vile  with  |^en  and  livi4 

spot, 
And  yet  they  knew  it  was  Lorenzo's  face: 
The  guerdon  of  their  murder  they  had  got| 

And  so  left  Florence  in  a  moment's  spaoe^  ^ 
Never  to  turn  again.  —  Away  they  went. 
With  blood  upon  their  heads,  to  banishment. 

LXI 

O  Melancholy,  turn  thine  eyes  away  I 
O  Music,  Music,  breathe  despondinglj  t 


FRAGMENT  OF  AN  ODE  TO   MAIA 


119 


0  Eeho^  Eeho^  on  loiiie  other  day, 
f^om    klM   Letheaiiy  sigh    to    as  —  O 
sigh! 
Spiiits  of  gtitif  sing  not  yoor  'Well-a- 
wmyf 
For  Isabel,  sweet  Isabel,  will  die; 
Will  die  a  death  too  lone  and  incomplete, 
Now  tbej  have  ta'en  away  her  Basil  sweet. 

Lxn 

KteoQS  she  look'd  on  dead  and  senseless 
things, 
Askii^  for  her  lost  Basil  amorously: 
And  with  melodious  chuckle  in  the  strings 
Of  her  lorn  roice,  she  oftentimes  would 
cry 
After  the  Pilgrim  in  his  wanderings. 

To  ask  him  where  her  Basil  was ;  and  why 
Twae  hid  from  her:  'For  cruel  *< 


*To  steal  my  Basil-pot  away  from  me/ 


And 

Xo 


Lxni 

she  pined,  and  so  she  died  forlorn, 
for  her  Basil  to  the  last. 
was  there  in  Florence  but  did 


la  pity  of  her  love,  so  overcast. 
Aad  a  sad  ditty  of  this  story  bom 

From  mouth  to  mouth  through  all  the 
eoontry  pass'd  : 
Still  ia  the  biuthen  sung  — '  O  cruelty, 
Te  steal  my  Basil-pot  away  from  me  ! ' 


TO   HOMER 

1818  was  affixed  to  this  by  Lord 
in  Life,  Letters  and  Litermy  Re- 
it  was  first  published,  and  is  found 
it  oeeurs  in  the  IMlke  manuscripts. 
to  Reynolds,  dated  April  27,  1818, 
ei^^erly  of  his  desire  to  study 


Of 

ksM 


aloof  in  giant  ignorance, 
I  bear  and  of  the  Cyclades, 
who  nts  ashore  and  longs  perchance 
dolphiii-ooral  in  deep  seas. 


So  thou  wast  blind  !  —  but  then  the  veil 
was  rent. 
For  Jove  uncurtain'd  Heaven  to  let  thee 
live, 
And  Neptune  made  for  thee  a  spumy  tent. 
And  Pan  made  sing  for  thee  his  forest- 
hive; 
Ay  on  the    shores  of  darkness  there   is 
light, 
And  precipices  show  untrodden  green; 
There  is  a  budding  morrow  in  midnight; 
There   is  a    triple    sight    in    blindness 
keen: 
Such  seeing  hadst  tbou,  as  it  once  befell 
To  Dian,  Queen  of  Earth,  and  Heaven^ 
and  Hell. 


FRAGMENT   OF  AN   ODE   TO 

MAIA 

Ck>pied  in  a  letter  to  Reynolds,  dated  May  3^ 
1818,  in  which  Keats  says :  ^  With  respect  to 
the  affections  and  Poetry  you  must  know  by  a 
sympathy  my  thoughts  that  way,  and  I  dare 
say  these  few  lines  will  be  but  a  ratification :  I 
wrote  them  on  May  day  —  and  intend  to  finish 
the  ode  all  in  good  time ; '  a  purpose  appar- 
ently never  accomplished. 

Mother  of  Hermes!  and  still  youthful 
Maia! 
May  I  sing  to  thee 
As  thou   wast  hymned  on  the  shores  of 
Baiae? 
Or  may  I  woo  thee 
In  earlier  Sicilian  ?  or  thy  smiles 
Seek  as  they  once  were  sought,  in  Grecian 

isles. 
By  bards  who  died  content  on  pleasant 
sward. 
Leaving  great  verse  unto  a  little  clan  ? 
O,  give  me  their  old  vigour,  and  unheard 
Save  of  the  quiet  Primrose,  and  the  span 
Of  heaven  and  few  ears. 
Rounded  by  thee,  my  song  should  die  away 

Content  as  theirs. 
Rich  in  the  simple  worship  of  a  day. 


I20 


THE  POEMS  OF  i8 18-18 19 


SONG 

First  pablished  in  X(f«,  Letters  and  Literary 
RemainSf  and  there  dated  1818. 


Hush,  hush  !  tread  softly  !  hush,  hush,  my 
dear ! 
All  the  house  is  asleep,  but  we  know  very 
well 
That  the  jealous,  the  jealous  old  bald-pate 
may  hear, 
Tho'  youVe  padded  his  night-cap  —  O 
sweet  Isabel  I 
Tho'  your  feet  are  more  light  than  a 

Faery's  feet, 
Who  dances  on  bubbles  where  brook- 
lets meet,  — 
Hush,  hush  I   soft  tiptoe  !  hush,  hush,  my 

dear  I 
For  less  than   a  nothing  the  jealous  can 
hear. 

II 
No  leaf  doth  tremble,  no  ripple  is  there 
On  the  river,  —  all 's  still,  and  the  night's 
sleepy  eye 
Closes    up,  and    forgets    all   its    Lethean 
care, 
Charm'd  to  death  by  the  drone  of  the 
humming  May-fly; 
And   the   Moon,  whether  prudish  or 

complaisant, 
Has  fled  to  her  bower,  well  knowing  I 
want 
No  light  in  the  dusk,  no  torch  in  the  gloom, 
But  my  Isabel's  eyes,  and  her  lips  pulp'd 
with  bloom. 

Ill 

Lift  the  latch  I  ah  gently  !  ah  tenderly  — 
sweet ! 
We  are  dead  if  that  latchet  gfiyes  one 
little  clink  I 
Well  done  —  now  those  lips,  and  a  flowery 
seat  — 
The  old  man  may  sleep,  and  the  planets 
may  wink; 


The  shut  rose  shall  dream  of  our  loTes 

and  awake 
Full-blown,  and  such  warmth  for  the 
morning  take, 
The  stock-dove  shall  hatch  her  soft  brace 

and  shall  coo. 
While  I  kiss,  to  the  melody,  aching  all 
through. 


VERSES  WRITTEN    DURING  A 
TOUR  IN   SCOTLAND 

Keats  saw  his  brother  C^orge  and  wife  set 
sul  from  Liverpool  at  the  end  of  June,  1818, 
and  then  set  forth  with  his  friend  Charles 
Armitage  Brown  on  a  walking  tour  through 
Wordsworth's  country  and  into  Scotland.  The 
verses  included  in  this  section  were  all  sent  ia 
letters,  chiefly  to  his  brother  Tom.  He  did  not 
indude  any  in  the  volume  which  he  published 
in  1820,  and  they  first  saw  the  light  when  Lofd 
Houghton  included  them  in  the  Xt/is,  Letters 
and  Literary  Remains,  The  more  ofiP-hand  and 
familiar  verses  written  at  this  time  are  given  in 
the  Appendix. 


ON  VISITING  THE  TOMB  OF  BURNS 

Written  at  Dumfries  on  the  evening  of  July 
Ij  1818.  *  Bums's  tomb,*  writes  Keats,  '  is  ia 
the  Churchyard  comer,  not  very  much  to  my 
taste,  though  on  a  scale  laige  enough  to  show 
they  wanted  to  honour  him.  This  Sonnet  I  have 
written  in  a  strange  mood,  half  asleep.  I  know 
not  how  it  is,  the  Clouds,  the  Sky,  the  Houses, 
all  seem  anti-Grecian  and  anti-Charlemagnish.' 

Ths  Town,  the  churchyard,  and  the  setting 
sun. 
The  Clouds,  the  trees,  the  rounded  hills 

all  seem. 
Though  beautiful,  cold  —  strange  —  as 
in  a  dream, 
I  dreamed  long  ago,  now  new  begun. 
The  short-lived,  paly  Summer  is  but  won 
From   Winter's    ague,    for    one    hoards 

gleam; 
Though  sapphire-¥rarm,  their  Staxs  do 
never  beam: 


VERSES  WRITTEN   DURING  A  TOUR   IN   SCOTLAND     121 


AH  it  oold  Beauty;  pain  is  never  done: 
For  who  has  mind  to  relish,  Minos-wise, 
The  Bcal  oi  Beaotj,  free  from  that  dead 
hue 
8ieklj  imagination  and  sick  pride 
Csst  wan  upon  it  I    Bums  !  with  honour 
doe 
I    oft    hare    hononr'd    thee.      Great 
shadow,  hide 
Thj  fsee;  I  sin  against  thy  native  skies. 


u 


TO  AILSA  ROCK 


Drown'd  wast  thou  till  an  earthquake  made 
thee  steep, 
Another  cannot  wake  thy  giant  size. 


croaed  to  Ireland  for  a  short 
after  retuming  to  Scotland,  nuuie 
way  into  Aynhire,  entering  it  a  little 
Caim.      "Dieir  walk  led  them  into 
wooded  gl«i.    'At   the    end,'  writes 
July  10, 1818, '  we  had  a  gradual  ascent 
got  among  the  tops  of  the  mountains 
in  a  little  time  I  descried  in  the  Sea 
Book,  940  feet  high— it  was  15  Bfiles 
and  seemed  close  upon  us.    The  effect 
the  peculiar  perspectiye  of  the 
ia  eoaneetion  with  the  ground  we  stood  on, 
the  misty  rain  then  falling  gave  me  a  corn- 
Idea  of  a  deluge.    Ailsa  struck  me  very 
— really  I  was  a  little  alarmed.' 


of  Aiiaa 


Hbamsev,  thoa  craggy  ocean  pyramid  ! 
GiTe  answer  from  thy  voice,  the  sea- 
foids'  screams! 

were  thy  shoulders  mantled  in 
knge  streams? 

from  the  sun,  was  thy  hroad  fore- 
hid? 
is 't  since  the  mighty  power  hid 
heave  to  airy  sleep  from  fathom 
dreams? 
Seep  in  the  lap  of  thunder  or  snnheams. 
Or  when  gray  clouds  are  thy  cold  coverlid. 
Tk«  aaswer'st  not;  for  thou    art  dead 
asleep; 
Thy  life  is  but  two  dead  eternities — 
Hi  last  in  air,  the  former  in  the  deep; 
rmt  with  the  whales,  Uwt  with  the  eagle- 


ni 


WRITTEN  IN  THE  COTTAGE  WHERE 
BURNS   WAS   BORN 

From  Kingswell's,  July  13,  1818,  Keats 
wrote  of  his  experience  in  visiting  Bums's 
hirthplace :  *  The  approach  to  it  [Ayr]  is  ex- 
tremely fine  —  quite  outwent  my  expectations 

—  richly  meadowed,  wooded,  heathed  and  riv- 
uleted  —  with  a  grand  Sea  view  terminated 
hy  the  hlack  Mountains  of  the  isle  of  Annan. 
As  soon  as  I  saw  them  so  nearhy  I  said  to  my- 
self, **  How  is  it  they  did  not  heckon  Bums 
to  some  grand  attempt  at  Epic  ?  "  The  honny 
Doon  is  the  sweetest  river  I  ever  saw  —  over- 
hung with  fine  trees  as  far  as  we  could  see 

—  We  stood  some  time  on  the  Brig  across  it, 
over  which  Tam  o'  Shanter  fled  —  we  took  a 
pinch  of  snuff  on  the  Keystone  —  then  we 
proceeded  to  the  ^  auld  Kirk  Alio  way."  As 
we  were  looking  at  it  a  Farmer  pointed  the 
spots  where  Mungo's  Mither  hang'd  hersel' 
and  "  drunken  Charlie  hrake  's  neck's  hane." 
Then  we  proceeded  to  the  Ck>ttage  he  was  horn 
in  —  there  was  a  board  to  that  effect  by  the 
door  side  —  it  had  the  same  effect  as  the  same 
sort  of  memorial  at  Stratford  on  Avon.  We 
drank  some  Toddy  to  Bums's  memory  with  an 
old  Man  who  knew  Bums  —  damn  him  and 
damn  his  anecdotes  —  he  was  a  great  bore  — 
it  was  impossible  for  a  Southron  to  understand 
above  5  words  in  a  hundred.  —  There  was 
something  good  in  his  description  of  Bnms*s 
melancholy  the  last  time  he  saw  him.  I  was 
determined  to  write  a  sonnet  in  the  Cottage  — 
I  did  —  but  it  was  so  bad  I  cannot  venture  it 
here.'  He  wrote  in  the  same  strain  to  Rey- 
nolds, sayinfir,  *  I  wrote  a  sonnet  for  the  mere 
sake  of  writing  some  lines  under  the  Roof  — 
they  are  so  bad  I  cannot  transcribe  them.  .  .  • 
I  cannot  write  about  scenery  and  visi  tings  — 
Fancy  is  indeed  less  than  a  present  palpable 
reality,  but  it  is  greater  than  remembrance. 
.  .  .  One  song  of  Bums's  is  of  more  worth  to 
you  than  all  I  could  think  for  a  whole  year  in 
his  native  country.' 


THE  POEMS  OF   1818-1819 


Tkib  mortal  body  of  it  tbousaod  daya 
Now  fills,  0  Burns,  a  spiLce  in  thine  own 

"Where  tbou  didst  dream  alone  on  budded 

Happy  and   thonghtleBs  of   thy  day  of 
doom  I 
M;  pulae  is  warm  with  thine  old  Barlej- 

My  head  ia  light  with  pledging  &  great 

My  ejea  are  wandering,  and  I  cannot  see, 
Fancy  is  dead  and  diuukcu  at  its  goAl; 

Tet  can  I  stamp  my  foot  upon  thy  fioor. 
Yet  can  I  ope  thy  window-ansh  to  find 

The  meadow  thou  hast  tramped  o'er  ttnd 

Yet  oan  I  think  of  theo  till  thought  is 
blind,  — 
Yet  can  I  gulp  a  bumpec  to  thy  natne,  — 
O  Knile  among  the  abades,  for  this  is  fame  1 


AT  fingal's  cave 

The  TeraeB  which  follow  were  first  printed 
in  Life,  Letters  and  Liitrari/  Remains.  They 
occur  in  a  letter  to  Tom  KeaU  from  Obao, 
Jidy  26,  181S,  and  were  preceded  by  this  dc- 
acriptTion  r  '  I  am  puiiled  how  to  give  yon  nn 
Idea  of  !jt.iffa.  It  caa  ool;  be  represented  by 
s  fltst-rate  drawing.  One  may  compare  the 
■urfncB  of  the  Island  to  a  roof  —  this  n>af  is 
■nppat^d  by  grand  pillars  of  tiasBlt  standing 
toother  aa  thick  as  haneyeoiabB.  The  finest 
thing  is  Fingal's  cave  —  it  is  entirely  a  hoUow- 
ing  out  of  Basalt  Pillars.  Suppose  nov  the 
Giants  who  rebelled  gainst  Jove  had  taken  a 
whole  Moss  of  blnuk  Columns  und  bound  them 
together  like  bunthes  of  matches  —  and  then 
with  inmieoae  aies  hod  made  a  cavern  in  Ui« 
body  of  these  columns  — Of  course  the  roof 
and  door  most  be  composed  of  the  broken  ends 
■  of  the  Colnmns  —  such  is  Fingal's  caye,  eicept 
that  the  Sea  has  done  the  work  of  excavations, 
and  is  continually  dashing  there  —  so  that  we 
walk  along  the  sides  of  the  cave  on  the  ptUan 
which  ore  left  as  if  for 


roof  is  aiehed  somewhat  gothio-wise,  and  the 

length  of  some  of  the  entire  side-pdlara  is  fifty 
feet.  About  the  island  you  might  seat  an 
army  of  men  each  an  a  piliar.  The  length  of 
the  Cave  is  120  feet,  and  from  ia  extremity 
the  view  into  the  sea,  through  the  lar^  arch 
at  the  entrance  —  the  colour  of  the  colnnm  is 
a  sort  of  black  with  a  lurking  gloom  of  purple 
therein.  For  solenmity  and  graudeur  it  far 
surpasses  the  finest  Cathedriij.  At  the  ex- 
tremity of  the  Cave  tliare  is  a  smaU  perfora- 
tion into  another  Cave,  at  which  the  waters 
meeting  und  buffeting  each  other  there  is  some- 
Ijtuos  produced  a  report  as  of  a  uanaun  heard  as 
far  as  lona,  which  must  bo  12  miles.  As  we 
approached  in  the  boat,  there  was  such  a  fine 
swell  of  the  sea  that  the  pillars  appeared  rising 
immediately  out  of  the  crysCni.  But  it  is  im- 
possible to  describe  iL' 

Not  Aladdin  magian 

Ever  such  a  work  began; 

Not  the  wizard  of  the  Dee 

Ever  such  a  dream  could  see; 

Not  St.  John,  in  Patmoa'  isle, 

In  the  passion  of  his  toil, 

When  he  saw  the  churches  seven. 

Golden  aisled,  built  up  in  heaven. 

Gazed  at  such  a  rugged  wonder, 

As  I  stood  ita  roofing  under. 

Lo  I  I  saw  one  sleeping  there, 

On  the  marble  cold  an<l  bare; 

While  the  aiirgcs  wash'd  his  feet, 

And  his  garments  white  did  beat 

Drench'd  about  the  sombre  rocks; 

Ou  his  neck  his  well-grown  loekg, 

Lifted  dry  ubovo  the  main, 

Were  npon  the  curl  again. 

'  What  is  this  ?  and  what  art  thou  ?  ' 

Whisper'd  I,  and  toucb'd  his  brow; 

'  What  art  thou  ?  and  what  is  this  ? ' 

Whisper'd  I,  and  strove  to  kiss 

The  spirit's  hand,  to  wake  hia  eyes; 

Up  he  started  in  a  trice: 

'  I  am  Ljcidos,'  said  be, 

'  Famod  in  funeral  minatrelsy  ) 

This  was  architcctured  thus 

By  the  great  Oceanus  !  — 

Here  hia  mighty  waters  play 


TO  A  LADY  SEEN  FOR  A  FEW  MOMENTS  AT  VAUXHALL     123 


HoDow  orgmos  mil  tlie  day; 

Here,  hj  tuniSy  his  dolphiiis  all, 

Ffamj  palmeny  great  and  smaU, 

Come  to  paj  deTotion  dae,  — 

Eadi  a  moath  of  pearls  most  strew  I 

Mao  J  a  mortal  of  these  days 

Dares  to  pass  our  saored  ways; 

Dares  to  touch,  audaciously, 

This  cathedral  of  the  sea  I 

I  haye  heen  the  pontiff-priest. 

Where  the  waters  never  rest, 

Where  a  fledgy  sea-bird  choir 

Soars  for  ever !    Holy  fire 

I  hare  hid  from  mortal  man; 

Phitens  is  my  Sacristan  ! 

But  the  dulled  eye  of  mortal 

Hath  pass'd  beyond  the  rocky  portal; 

So  for  ever  wiU  I  leave 

Such  a  taint,  and  soon  unweave 

All  the  magic  of  the  place/ 

So  saying,  with  a  Spirit's  glance 

He  dived  I 


WRITTEN  UPON  THE  TOP  OF  BEN  NEVIS 


in  a  letter  to  Tom  Keats  from 
Letter  Findlay,  August  3,  18ia 

Read  me  a  lesson.  Muse,  and  speak  it  loud 

Upon  the  top  of  Nevis,  blind  in  mist ! 
I  look  into  the  chasms,  and  a  shroud 

Vaporous    doth    hide    them,  —  just    so 
much  I  wist 
Msnkiwd  do  know  of  hell;  I  look  o'erhead. 

And  there  is  sullen  mist,  —  even  so  much 
Msnkind  can  tell  of  heaven;  mist  is  spread 

Before  the  earth,  beneath  me,  —  even 
sneh. 
Even  so  vague  is  man's  sight  of  himself  ! 

Hers  are  the  eraggy  stones  beneath  my 
feet,— 
IWs  much  I  know  that,  a  poor  witless  elf, 

I  tread  on  them,  —  that  all  my  eye  doth 


Ii  mist  and  erag,  not  only  on  this  height, 
hx  in  the  world  of  thought  and  mental 
might! 


TRANSLATION  FROM  A  SONNET 
OF  RONSARD 

Published  in  Life,  Letters  and  Literary  Be^ 
mains  in  a  letter  to  Reynolds,  of  which  the 
probable  date  is  September  22, 1818 ;  in  a  let- 
ter to  Charles  Wentworth  Dilke  September  21, 
1818,  Keats  quotes  the  last  line  with  the  re- 
mark :  *  Yon  have  passed  your  Romance,  and 
I  never  g^ve  in  to  it,  or  else  I  think  this  line  a 
feast  for  one  of  your  Lovers.'  The  text  of 
the  sonnet  will  be  found  in  the  Appendix. 

Nature  withheld  Cassandra  in  the  skies. 
For  more  adornment,  a  full  thousand 
years; 
She  took  their  cream  of  Beauty's  fairest 
dyes, 
And   shaped  and   tinted  her  above  all 
Peers: 
Meanwhile  Love  kept  her  dearly  with  his 
wings, 
And  underneath  their  shadow  filPd  her 
eyes 
With  such  a  richness  that  the  cloudy  Kings 

Of  high  Olympus  utter*d  slavish  sighs. 
When  from  the   Heavens  I  saw  her  first 
descend, 
My  heart  took  fire,  and  only  burning 
pains, 
They  were  my  pleasures  —  they  my  Life's 
sad  end; 
Love  pour'd  ber  beauty  into  my  warm 
veins. 


TO  A  LADY  SEEN  FOR  A  FEW 
MOMENTS  AT  VAUXHALL 

First  published  in  Uood^s  Magazine  for  April 
1844,  and  afterward  indnded  in  Li/«,  Letters 
and  Literary  Remains.  No  date  is  g^ven,  and 
the  poem  is  pUused  here  from  a  fancied  a8M>- 
ciation  with  the  lady  whom  Keats  saw  at  Hast- 
ings and  who  started  the  train  of  thought  in 
his  letter  to  his  brother  and  sister,  October  25, 
181& 


124 


THE   POEMS  OF   1818-1819 


TiMs's  sea  hath  been  five  years  at  its  slow 
ebb, 
Long  hours  have  to  and  fro  let  creep  the 
sandy 
Since  I  was  tangled  in  thy  beauty's  web. 
And  snared  by  the  ungloving  of  thine 
hand. 
And  yet  I  never  look  on  midnight  sky, 
But  I  behold  thine  eyes'  well-memoried 
light; 
I  cannot  look  upon  the  rose's  dye, 
But  to  thy  cheek  my  soul  doth  take  its 
flight ; 
I  cannot  look  on  any  budding  flower. 

But  my  fond  ear,  in  fancy  at  thy  lips 
And  hearkening  for  a  love-sound,  doth  de- 
vour 
Its  sweets  in  the  wrong  sense:  —  Thou 
dost  eclipse 
Every  delight  with  sweet  remembering, 
And  grief  unto  my  darling  joys  dost  bring. 

FANCY 

Keats  enclosed  these  lines,  as  lately  written, 
in  a  letter  to  Qeorge  and  Qeoigiana  KeatE^ 
January  2, 1819.  He  included  the  poem  in  the 
1820  Tolnme.  Mr.  John  Knowles  Paine  has 
published  a  cantata  for  soprano  solo,  choros, 
and  orchestra,  entitled  The  Realm  of  Fancy, 
usmg  these  lines  for  his  book. 

EvEB  let  the  Fancy  roam, 

Pleasure  never  is  at  home: 

At  a  touch  sweet  Pleasure  melteth. 

Like  to  bubbles  when  rain  pelteth; 

Then  let  winged  Fancy  wander 

Through  the  thought  still  spread  beyond 

her: 
Open  wide  the  mind's  cage-door, 
She  11  dart  forth,  and  cloudward  soar. 
O  sweet  Fancy  !  let  her  loose; 
Summer's  joys  are  spoilt  by  use,  10 

And  the  enjoying  of  the  Spring   ' 
Fades  as  does  its  blossoming; 
Autunm's  red-lipp'd  fruitage  too, 
Blushing  through  the  mist  and  dew. 
Cloys  with  tasting  :  What  do  then  ? 


Sit  thee  by  the  ingle,  when 

The  sear  faggot  blazes  bright, 

Spirit  of  a  winter's  night; 

When  the  soundless  earth  is  muffled. 

And  the  caked  snow  is  shuffled  ao 

From  the  ploughboy's  heavy  shoon; 

When  the  Night  doth  meet  the  Noon 

In  a  dark  conspiracy 

To  banish  Even  from  her  sky. 

Sit  thee  there,  and  send  abroad, 

With  a  mind  self-overawed, 

Fancy,  high-commission'd:  —  send  her  I 

She  has  vassals  to  attend  her: 

She  will  bring,  in  spite  of  frost, 

Beauties  that  the  earth  hath  lost;  30 

She  will  bring  thee,  all  together, 

All  delights  of  summer  weather; 

All  the  buds  and  bells  of  May, 

From  dewy  sward  or  thorny  spray; 

All  the  heaped  Autunm's  vrealth. 

With  a  still,  mysterious  stealth: 

She  will  mix  these  pleasures  up 

Like  three  fit  wines  in  a  cup. 

And  thou  shalt  quaff  it:  — thou  shalt  hear 

Dbtant  harvest-carols  clear;  40 

Rustle  of  the  reaped  com; 

Sweet  birds  antheming  the  mom: 

And,  in  the  same  moment  —  hark  ! 

'T  is  the  early  April  lark. 

Or  the  rooks,  with  busy  caw. 

Foraging  for  sticks  and  straw. 

Thou  shalt,  at  one  glance,  behold 

The  daisy  and  the  marigold; 

White-plumed  lilies,  and  the  first 

Hedge-grown  primrose  that  hath  burst ;  50 

Shaded  hyacinth,  alway 

Sapphire  queen  of  the  mid-May; 

And  every  leaf,  and  every  flower 

Pearled  with  the  self-same  shower. 

Thou  shalt  see  the  field-mouse  peep 

Meagre  from  its  celled  sleep; 

And  the  snake  all  winter-thin 

Cast  on  sunny  bank  its  skin; 

Freckled  nest-eggs  thou  shalt  see 

Hatching  in  the  hawthorn-tree,  60 

When  the  hen-bird's  wing  doth  rest 

Quiet  on  her  mossy  nest; 


SONG 


"S 


llieii  the  hony  and  alarm 
When  the  bee-hire  easts  its  swarm ; 
Aeome  ripe  down-pattering 
While  the  antnmn  breezes  sing. 

Oh,  sweet  Fancy  I  let  her  loose; 
Efery  thing  is  spoilt  by  use; 
Where 's  the  cheek  that  doth  not  fade. 
Too  much  gazed  at  ?    Where 's  the  maid  70 
Whose  lip  mature  is  ever  new  ? 
Where 's  the  eye,  howcTer  blue, 
Doth  not  weary  ?    Where 's  the  face 
One  would  meet  in  every  place  ? 
Where's  the  voice,  however  soft, 
One  would  hear  so  very  oft  ? 
At  a  touch  sweet  Pleasure  melteth 
Like  to  bubbles  when  rain  pelteth. 
Let,  then,  winged  Fancy  find 
Thee  a  mistress  to  thy  mind:  80 

Ddeet-eyed  as  Ceres'  daughter 
Ere  the  God  of  Torment  taught  her 
How  to  frown  and  how  to  chide; 
With  a  waist  and  with  a  side 
White  as  Hebe's,  when  her  zone 
Sfipt  its  golden  clasp,  and  down 
FeD  her  kirtle  to  her  feet. 
While  she  held  the  goblet  sweet, 
And  Jove  grew  languid.  —  Break  the  mesh 
Of  the  Fancy's  silken  leash;  90 

Quickly  break  her  prison-string, 
And  sneh  joys  as  these  she  11  bring.  — 
Let  the  winged  Fancy  roam, 
Fkasnre  never  is  at  home. 


ODE 

WrittSB  on  the  blank  page  before  Beaumont 
tad  Fletdier's  tngi-oomedy,  The  Fair  Maid  of 
lie  Jmm,  and  addreweii  thus  to  these  bards  in 
pBtiealar.  Sent  in  a  letter  to  George  and  Geor- 
paaa  Keats,  January  2, 1819.  It  is  included 
ii  the  1820  volume. 

Babd8  oi  Fsssion  and  of  Mirth, 
Te  have  left  your  souls  on  earth  ! 
Have  je  seals  in  heaven  too, 
Do«ble-lived  in  regions  new  ? 
Tesy  and  those  of  heaven  commune 


With  the  spheres  of  sun  and  moon; 
With  the  noise  of  fountains  wond'rous 
And  the  parle  of  voices  thund'rous; 
With  the  whisper  of  heaven's  trees 
And  one  another,  in  soft  ease  10 

Seated  on  Elysian  lawns 
Browsed  by  none  but  Dian's  fawns; 
Underneath  large  blue-bells  tented. 
Where  the  daisies  are  rose-scented, 
And  the  rose  herself  has  got 
Perfume  which  on  earth  is  not; 
Where  the  nightingale  doth  sing 
Not  a  senseless,  tranced  thing. 
But  divine  melodious  truth; 
Philosophic  numbers  smooth;  so 

Tales  and  golden  histories 
Of  heaven  and  its  mysteries. 

Thus  ye  live  on  high,  and  then 
On  the  earth  ye  live  again; 
And  the  souls  ye  left  behind  you 
Teach  us,  here,  the  way  to  find  you. 
Where  your  other  souls  are  joying, 
Never  slumber'd,  never  cloying. 
Here,  your  earth-bom  souls  still  speak 
To  mortals,  of  their  little  week;  30 

Of  their  sorrows  and  delights; 
Of  their  passions  and  their  spites; 
Of  their  glory  and  their  shame; 
What  doth  strengthen  and  what  maim. 
Thus  ye  teach  us,  every  day. 
Wisdom,  though  fled  far  away. 

Bards  of  Passion  and  of  Mirth, 
Te  have  left  your  souls  on  earth  I 
Ye  have  souls  in  heaven  too, 
Double-lived  in  regions  new  I  40 


SONG 

'  There  is  just  room,  I  see,  in  this  page  to 
copy  a  little  thing  I  wrote  off  to  some  Muaie 
as  it  was  playing.*  Keats  to  George  and 
G^igiana  Keats,  January  2, 1810. 

I  HAD  a  dove  and  the  sweet  dove  died; 
And  I  have  thought  it  died  of  grieving: 


;i26 


THE  POEMS  OF   1818-1819 


O,  what  could  it  grieve  for?    Its  feet 

were  tied, 
With  a  silken  thread  of  my  own  hand's 

weaving; 
Sweet  little  red    feet !    why  shoald  you 

die  — 
Why  should  you  leave  me,  sweet  bird  1 

why? 
You  lived  alone  in  the  forest-tree, 
Why,  pretty  thing !  would  you  not  live 

with  me  ? 
I  kiss'd  you  oft  and  gave  you  white  peas; 
Why  not  live  sweetly,  as  in  the  green 

trees? 


ODE   ON    MELANCHOLY 

Published  in  Lamiaj  Isabella^  the  Eve  of  St. 
Agnes  and  other  Poems,  1820.  There  is  no 
date  affixed  to  it,  but  if  it  takes  its  color  at 
all  from  Keats*8  own  experience,  it  might  not 
be  amiss  to  refer  it  to  the  early  part  of  1819, 
when  he  had  come  under  the  influence  of  his 
passion  for  Fanny  Brawne.  In  a  letter  to 
Haydon,  written  between  January  7  and  14, 
1819,  Keats  8a3rB :  *  I  have  been  writing  a  little 
now  and  then  lately  :  but  nothing  to  speak  of 
—  being  discontented  and  as  it  were  moulting. 
Yet  I  do  not  think  I  shall  ever  come  to  the 
rope  or  the  pistoL  For  after  a  day  or  two's 
melancholy,  although  I  smoke  more  and  more 
my  own  insufficiency  —  I  see  by  little  and  lit- 
tle more  of  what  is  to  be  done,  and  how  it  is 
to  be  done,  should  I  ever  be  able  to  do  it.* 

Lord  Houghton,  in  the  Aldine  edition  of 
1876,  makes  the  following  prefatory  note: 
'A  nngnlar  instance  of  Keats's  delicate  per- 
ception occurred  in  the  composition  of  this 
Ode.  *In  the  original  manuscript  he  had  in- 
tended to  represent  the  vulgar  conception  of 
Melancholy  with  gloom  and  horror,  in  contrast 
with  the  emotion  that  incites  to  — 

**  glat  thy  sorrow  on  ft  morning  row 
Or  on  tha  rftinbow  of  the  salt  Mmd^ware, 
Or  on  the  wealth  of  globed  peonies ;  *' 


and  which  essentially 


**  Ures  In  Beftuty  —  Besnty  that  most  die. 
And  Joy,  whose  hand  is  erer  st  his  lips 
Bidding  ftdieo.** 


The  first  stanza,  therefore,  was  the  following : 
as  grim  a  passage  as  Blake  or  Foseli  could 
have  dreamed  and  painted :  — 

**  Though  yon  should  build  ft  bark  of  dead  men's  bones, 
And  rear  a  platform  gibbet  for  a  mast, 
Stitch  shrouds  togrther  for  a  sail,  with  groans 

Tb  fill  it  out,  blood-stahied  and  aghast ; 
Although  your  rudder  be  a  drag(m*s  tail 
Long  severed,  yet  still  hard  with  agony. 
Your  cordage  large  uprootings  from  the  sknU 
Of  bald  Medusa,  oertes  you  would  fail 
To  find  the  Melancholy  —  whether  she 
Dreameth  in  any  ide  of  Lethe  dull.** 

But  no  sooner  was  this  written,  than  the  poet 
became  conscious  that  the  coarseness  of  the 
contrast  would  destroy  the  general  effect  of 
luxurious  tenderness  which  it  was  the  object 
of  the  poem  to  produce,  and  he  confined  the 
g^ross  notion  of  Melancholy  to  less  violent  im- 
ages, and  let  the  ode  at  once  begin,  — ' 

I 
No,  no  !  go  not  to  Lethe,  neither  twist 
Wolf's-bane,  tight-rooted,  for  its  poison- 
ous wine; 
Nor  suffer  thy  pale  forehead  to  be  kiss'd 

By  nightshade,  ruby  grape  of  Proserpine; 
Make  not  your  rosary  of  yew-berries. 
Nor  let  the  beetle,  or  the  death-moth  be 
Your  mournful  Psyche,  nor  the  downy 
owl 
A  partner  in  your  sorrow's  mysteries; 
For  shade  to  shade  will  come  too  drows- 

iiy. 

And  drown  the  wakeful  anguish  of  the 
soul. 

u 

But  when  the  melancholy  fit  shall  fall 
Sudden    from    heaven    like  a  weeping 
cloud. 
That  fosters  the  droop-headed  flowers  all, 
And  hides  the  g^en  hills  in  an  April 
shroud; 
Then  glut  thy  sorrow  on  a  momiujg  rose, 
Or  on  the  rainbow  of  the  salt-sand  wave. 
Or  on  the  wealth  of  globed  peonies; 
Or  if  thy  mistress  some  rich  anger  shows, 
Emprison  her  soft  hand,  and  let  her  ravs, 
And  feed  deep,  deep  upon  lier  peerless 
eyes. 


THE  EVE  OF   ST.  AGNES 


127 


III 
Sie  dwells  with    Beanty  —  Beaaty  that 
most  die; 
And  Jojf  whose  hand  is  ever  at  his  lips 
Bidding  adiea;  and  aching  Pleasure  nigh, 
Taming  to  poison  while  the  hee-mouth 
sips: 
Aje,  in  the  very  temple  of  Delight 
Veil'd  Melancholy  has  her  sovran  shrine, 
Though  seen  of  none  save  him  whose 
strenuous  tongue 
Can  hurst  Joy's  grape  against  his  palate 
fine; 
Hit  soul  shall  taste  the  sadness  of  her 
might. 
And  be  among  her  cloudy  trophies 
hong. 


THE   EVE   OF  ST.  AGNES 

Begun  early  in  1819.  In  a  letter  to  George 
ad  Georgiana  Keats,  dated  Febmary  14, 1810, 
Keati  says :  '  I  was  nearly  a  fortnight  at  Mr. 
JohnSoook's  and  a  few  days  at  old  Mr.  Dilke*s 
(Chirbestcr  in  Hampshire).  Nothing  worth 
of  happened  at  either  place.  I  took 
some  thin  paper  and  wrote  on  it  a  little 
called  St  Agnes's  Eve.'  The  poem 
a  great  deal  of  revision,  and  was  not 
■  final  form  before  September ;  it  was  pub- 
the  1820  volume. 


St.  Agnes'  Eve— Ah,  bitter  chill  it 

wasi 
The  owl,  for  all  his  feathers,  was  a-cold; 
The  bare  limp'd  trembling  through  the 

frosen  grass. 
And  silent  was  the  flock  in  woolly  fold : 
Nnmb  wens  the  Beadsman's  fingers,  while 

he  told 
Hb  RMazy,  and  while  his  frosted  breath. 
Like  pSoas  incense  from  a  censer  old, 
fietm'd  taking  flight  for  heaven,  without 

a  death, 
Bat  Ike  sweet  Virgin's  picture,  while  his 

pcayer  ke  saith. 


II 
His  prayer  he  saith,  this  patient,  holy 

man; 
Then  takes  his  lamp,  and  riseth  from  his 

knees. 
And  back  returneth,  meagre,  barefoot, 

wan. 
Along  the  chapel  aisle  by  slow  degrees: 
The  sculptured  dead,  on  each  side,  seem 

to  freeze, 
Emprison'd  in  black,  purgatorial  rails: 
Knights,  ladies,  praying  in  dumb  orat'ries, 
He  passeth  by;  and  hb  weak  spirit  fails 
To  think  how  they  may  ache  in  icy  hoods 

and  mails. 

Ill 

Northward  he  tumeth  through  a  little 

door, 
And    scarce    three    steps,  ere    Music's 

golden  tongue 
Flatter'd  to  tears  this  aged  man  and 

poor; 
But  no  —  already  had  his  death-bell  rung; 
The  joys  of  all  his  life  were  said  and 

sung: 
His  was  harsh  penance  on  St.  Agnes' 

Eve: 
Another  way  he  went,  and  soon  among 
Rough  ashes  sat  he  for  hb  soul's  re- 
prieve. 
And  all  night  kept  awake,  for  sinners'  sake 

to  grieve. 

IV 

That  ancient  Beadsman  heard  the  pre- 
lude soft; 

And  so  it  chanced,  for  many  a  door  was 
wide, 

From  hurry  to  and  fro.     Soon,  up  aloft. 

The  silver,  snarling  trumpets  'gan  to 
chide: 

The  level  chambers,  ready  with  their 
pride. 

Were  glowing  to  receive  a  thoosand 
guests: 

The  carved  angels,  ever  eager-eyed. 


128 


THE  POEMS  OF   1818-18x9 


Stared,  where  upon  their  heads  the  cor- 

And back  retired;  not  cool'd  by  high  dis- 

nice rests, 

dain, 

With  hair  blown  back,  and  wings  pat  cross- 

But she  saw  not:  her  heart  was  other- 

wise on  their  breasts. 

where; 

She  sigh'd  for  Agnes'  dreams,  the  sweetest 

V 

of  the  year. 

At  length  burst  in  the  argent  revelry, 

With  plume,  tiara,  and  all  rich  array, 

VIII 

Numerous  as  shadows  haunting  fairily 

She  danced  along  with  vague,  regardless 

The  brain,  new-stuff'd,  in  youth,  with 

eyes, 

triumphs  gay 

Anxious  her  lips,  her  breathing  quick  and 

Of   old  romance.     These   let  us   wish 

short: 

away, 

The  haUow'd  hour  was  near  at  hand:  she 

And  turn,  sole-thoughted,  to  one  L«ady 

sighs 

there, 

Amid  the    timbrels,  and  the    throog'd 

Whose  heart  had  brooded,  all  that  wintry 

resort 

day. 

Of  whisperers  in  anger,  or  in  sport; 

On  love,  and  wing'd  St.  Agnes'  saintly 

'Mid  looks  of  love,  defiance,  hate,  and 

care. 

scorn. 

As  she  had  heard  old  dames  full  many 

Hoodwink'd  with  ^ry  fancy;  all  amort. 

times  declare. 

Save  to  St.  Agnes  and  her  lambs  nn^ 

shorn. 

VI 

And  all  the  bliss  to  be  before  to-morrow 

They  told  her  how,  upon  St.  Agnes'  Eve, 

mom. 

Young  virgins    might  have  visions  of 

delight. 

IX 

And  soft  adorings  from  their  loves  re- 

So, purposing  each  moment  to  retire. 

ceive 

She  lingered  still.    Meantime,  across  the 

Upon  the  honey'd  middle  of  the  night, 

moors. 

If  ceremonies  due  they  did  aright; 

Had  come  young  Porphyro,  with  heart 

As,  supperless  to  bed  they  must  retire, 

on  fire 

And  couch    supine  their  beauties,   lily 

For  Madeline.    Beside  the  portal  doors, 

white; 

Buttress'd  from   moonlight,  stands  he^ 

Nor  look  behind,  nor  sideways,  but  re- 

and implores 

quire 

All  saints  to  give  him  sight  of  Madeline, 

Of  Heaven  with  upward  eyes  for  all  that 

But  for  one  moment  in  the  tedious  hours, 

they  desire. 

That  he  might  gaze  and  worship  all  un- 

flAAn  . 

VII 

Perchance  speak,  kneel,  touch,  kiss  —  in 

Full  of  this  whim  was  thoughtful  Made- 
line: 
The  music,  yearning  like  a  God  in  pain. 

sooth  such  things  have  been. 

X 

She  scarcely   heard:    her  maiden  eyes 

He  ventures  in:  let  no  buzz'd  whisper  tell: 

divine. 

All  eyes  be  mufified,  or  a  hundred  swords 

Fiz'd  on  the  J9oor,  saw  many  a  sweeping 

Will  storm  his  heart.  Love's  fev'roat 

train 

citadel: 

Pass  by  —  she  heeded  not  at  all:  in  vain 

For  him,  those  chambers  held  barbarian 

Came  many  a  tiptoe,  amorous  cavalier. 

hordes, 

THE  EVE  OF  ST.  AGNES 


129 


HjBBa  foemeiiy  and  hot4>looded  lords. 

And  as  she  mutter'd  *  Well-a — well-a- 

WlMMe  reiydogi  would  ezeoratioiis  howl 

day!' 

Agaiaat  hia  lineage:  not  one  hreast  af- 

He found  him  in  a  little  moonlight  room, 

fords 

Pale,  latticed,  chill,  and  silent  as  a  tomb. 

Him  anj  merey,  in  that  mansion  foul, 

'Now  tell  me  where  is  Madeline,'  said 

St?e  one  old  beldame,  weak  in  body  and  in 

he. 

sooL 

'  0  tell  me,  Angela,  by  the  holy  loom 

XI 

Which  none  but  secret  sisterhood  may 

Ah,  happ J  chance  1   the'  aged  creature 

see, 

came, 

When  they  St  Agnes'  wool  are  weaying 

Shoffling  along  with  iyory-headed  wand, 

piously.' 

To  where  he  stood,  hid  from  the  torch's 

XIV 

Behind  a  broad  hall-pillar,  far  beyond 

'  St.  Agnes  1    Ah  1  it  is  St.  Agnes'  Eye  — 

The  soond    of   merriment  and    chorus 

Yet  men  will  murder  upon  holy  days: 

bland: 

Thou  must  hold  water  in  a  witch's  sieve. 

He  startled  her;  but  soon  she  knew  his 

And  be  liege-lord  of  all  the  EWes  and 

&ce. 

Fays, 

To  venture  so:  it  fills  me  with  amaze 

hand. 

To  see    thee,  Porphyro !  —  St.  Agnes' 

Saying,    *  Merey,    Porphyro !    hie    thee 

Eve! 

from  this  place; 

Grod's  help !  my  lady  fair  the  conjuror 

They  are    all  here  to-night,  the   whole 

plays 

bloodthirsty  race  1 

This  very  night:    good  angels  her  de- 

XII 

But  let  me  laugh  awhile,  I  've  mickle  time 

Get  henee  !   get  hence  1  there 's  dwarf- 

to grieve.' 

ish  Hildebrand; 

He  had  a  ferer  late,  and  in  the  fit 

XV 

He  enrsed  thee  and  thine,  both  house  and 

Feebly  she  laugheth  in  the  languid  moon. 

land: 

While  Porphyro  upon  her  face  doth  look. 

Tkn  there 's  that  old  Lord  Maurice,  not 

Like  puzzled  urchin  on  an  aged  crone 

a  whit 

Who  keepeth  closed  a  wond'rous  riddle- 

Mote  tame  for  his  gray  hairs — Alas  me  ! 

book. 

ffiti 

As  spectacled  she  sits  in  chimney  nook. 

Fill  like  a  ghost  away.'  —  'Ah,  Gossip 

But  soon  hb  eyes  grew  brilliant,  when  she 

dear. 

told 

We're  safe  enough;  here  in  thin  arm- 

His  lady's  purpose;  and  he  scarce  could 

ehair  sit. 

brook 

Aad  ten  me  bow'  — 'Good  SainU  1  not 

Tears,  at  the  thought  of  those  enchant- 

here, not  here; 

ments  cold. 

FtDow  me,  ehild,  or  else  these  stones  will 

And  Madeline  asleep  in  lap  of  legends  old. 

be  thy  bier.' 

XVI 

xin 

Sudden  a  thought  came  like  a  full-blown 

He  foQow'd  through  a  lowly  arehed  way, 

rose. 

Bnshing   tlie  eobwebs  with  his    lof^ 

Flushing  his  brow,  and  in  his  pained 

plume; 

heart 

130 


THE  POEMS   OF   1818-1819 


Made  purple  riot:  then  doth  he  propose 
A  stratagem,  that  makes  the  beldame 
start: 

*  A  cruel  man  and  impious  thou  art: 
Sweet  lady,  let  her  praj,  and  sleep,  and 

dream 
Alone  with  her  good  angels,  far  apart 
From  wicked  men  like  thee.    Gro,  go  I  I 

deem 
Thou  canst  not  surely  be  the  same  that  thou 

didst  seem.' 

XVII 

*1  will  not  harm  her,  by  all  saints  I 

swear,' 
Quoth  Porphyro:  *0  may  I  ne'er  find 

grace 
When  my  weak  voice  shall  whisper  its 

last  prayer, 
If  one  of  her  soft  ringlets  I  displace. 
Or  look  with  rufBan  passion  in  her  face: 
Good  Angela,  believe  me  by  these  tears; 
Or  I  will,  even  in  a  moment's  space, 
Awake,  with  horrid  shout,  my  foemen's 

ears, 
And  beard  them,  though  they  be  more 

fang'd  than  wolves  and  bears.' 

XVIII 

*  Ah  I  why  wilt  thou  affright  a  feeble 

soul? 
A  poor,  weak,  palsy-stricken,  church-yard 

thing. 
Whose  passing-bell  may  ere  the  midnight 

toll; 
Whose  prayers  for  thee,  each  mom  and 

evening. 
Were  never  miss'd.'    Thus  plaining,  doth 

she  bring 
A  gentler  speech  from  burning  Porphyro; 
So  woful,  and  of  such  deep  sorrowing, 
That  Angela  gives  promise  she  will  do 
Whatever  he  shall  wish,  betide  her  weal  or 

woe. 

XIX 

Which  was,  to  lead  him,  in  close  secrecy. 
Even  to  Madeline's  chamber,  and  there 
hide 


Him  in  a  closet,  of  such  privacy 

That  he  might  see  her  beauty  unespied. 

And  win  perhaps  that  night  a  peerless 

bride, 
While  legion'd  fairies  paced  the  coverlet. 
And  pale  enchantment  held  her  sleepy- 
eyed. 
Never  on  such  a  night  have  lovers  met. 
Since  Merlin  paid  his  Demon  all  the  mon- 
strous debt. 

XX 

<It  shall  be  as  thou  wishest,'  said  the 

Dame: 
'All  cates  and  dainties  shall  be  stored 

there 
Quickly  on  this  feast-night:  by  the  tam- 
bour frame 
Her  own  lute  thou  wilt  see:  no  time  to 

spare. 
For  I  am  slow  and  feeble,  and  scarce 

dare 
On  such  a  catering  trust  my  dizzy  head. 
Wait    here,  my    child,  with    patience; 

kneel  in  prayer 
The  while:  Ah  I  thou  must  needs  the 

lady  wed. 
Or  may  I  never  leave  my  grave  among 

the  dead.' 

XXI 

So  saying  she  hobbled  off  with  busy  fear. 
The  lover's  endless  minutes  slowly  pass'd; 
The  Dame  retum'd,  and  whisper'd  in 

his  ear 
To  follow  her;  with  aged  eyes  aghast 
From  fright  of  dim  espial.     Safe  at  but, 
Through  many  a  dusky  gallery,  they  gain 
The  maiden's  chamber,  silken,  hosh'd 

and  chaste; 
Where  Porphyro    took  covert,  pleased 

amain. 
His  poor  guide  hurried  back  with  agues  in 

her  brain. 

xxn 
Her  falt'ring  hand  upon  the  balustradei 
I      Old  Angela  was  feeling  for  the  stair. 


THE  EVE  OF   ST.  AGNES 


131 


When   Madeline,  St.  Agnes'    charmed 

maidt 
Boie,  like  a  miasion'd  spirit,  anaware: 
With  tilTer  taper's  light,  and  pious  care, 
She  tam'd,  and  down  the  aged  gossip  led 
To  a  safe  lerel  matting.    Now  prepare, 
TonngPorphjro,  for  gazing  on  that  hed; 
She  comes,  she  comes  again,  like  ring-dove 

Iraj'd  and  fled. 

xxin 
Out  went  the  taper  as  she  harried  in; 
Its  little  smoke,   in  pallid  moonshine, 

died: 
She  closed  the  door,  she  panted,  all  akin 
To  spirits  of  the  air,  and  visions  wide: 
No  ottered  syllahle,  or,  woe  hetide  I 
Bot  to  her  heart,  her  heart  was  voluhle, 
Pkining  with  eloquence  her  halmjr  side; 
As    though    a    tongueless    nightingale 

should  swell 
Her  throat  in  vain,  and  die,  heart-stifled  in 

her  dell. 

XXIV 

A  easement  high  and  triple  arch'd  there 


An  garlanded  with  carven  imageries 

Of  £niii%  and  flowers,  and  hunches  of 
knot-grass, 

Aid  diamonded  with  panes  of  quaint  de- 
vice, 

TawimeraMe  of  stains  and  splendid 
djes. 

Am  are  the  tiger-moth's  deep-damask'd 
irings; 

Aid  m  the  midst,  'mong  thousand  herald- 


Aad  twilight  saints,  and  dim  emhlazon- 

AiUelded  scntcheoo  hlush'd  with  hlood  of 
queens  and  kings. 

XXV 

Fofl  on  thb  casement  shone  the  wintry 


lad  threw  warm  gales  on  Madeline's 


As  down  she  knelt  for  heaven's  grace 

and  hoon; 
Rose-bloom  fell  on  her  hands,  together 

prest. 
And  on  her  silver  cross  soft  amethyst. 
And  on  her  hair  a  glory,  like  a  saint: 
She  seem'd  a  splendid  angel,  newly  drest, 
Save  wings,  for  heaven : — Porphyro  grew 

faint; 
She  knelt,  so  pure  a  thing,  so  free  from 

mortal  taint 

XXVI 

Anon   his    heart  revives:    her  vespers 

done. 
Of  all  its  wreathed  pearls  her  hair  she 

frees;  , 

Unclasps  her  warmed  >  jewels   one    by 

one;  "^ 

Loosens  her  fragrant  bodice;  by  degrees 
Her  rich  attire  creeps  rustling  to  her 

knees: 
Half-hidden,  like  a  mermaid  in  sea-weed, 
Pensive  awhile  she  dreams  awake,  and 

sees, 
In  fancy,  fair  St.  Agnes  in  her  bed. 
But  dares  not  look  behind,  or  all  the  charm 

is  fled. 

XXVII 

Soon,  trembling  in  her  soft  and  chilly 

nest, 
In  sort  of  wakeful  swoon,  perplex'd  she 

lay, 
Until  the  poppied  warmth  of  sleep  op- 

press'd 
Her  soothed  limbs,  and  soul  fatigued 

away; 
Flown,  like  a  thought,  until  the  morrow- 
day; 
Blissfully  haven'd  both  from  joy  and 

pain; 
Clasp'd  like  a  missal  where  swart  Pay- 

nims  pray; 
Blinded  alike  from  sunshine  and  from 

rain, 
As  though  a  rose  should  shut,  and  be  a  bud 

again. 


132 


THE  POEMS  OF  1818-18x9 


XXVIII 

Stol'ii  to  this  paradise,  and  so  entranced, 
Forphyro  gazed  npon  her  empty  dress. 
And  listen'd    to    her    breathing,   if    it 

chanced 
To  wake  into  a  slumberoos  tenderness; 
Which  when  he  heard,  that  minute  did 

he  bless, 
And  breathed  himself:  then  from  the 

closet  crept, 
Noiseless  as  fear  in  a  wide  wilderness. 
And   over   the    hush'd    carpet,   silent, 

stept, 
And  'tween  the  cnrtuns  peep'd,  where,  lo ! 

—  how  ftist  she  slept 

XXIX 

Then  by  the  bed-side,  where  the  faded 

moon 
Made  a  dim,  silver  twilight,  soft  he  set 
A    table,    and,    half    angoish'd,    threw 

thereon 
A  cloth  of   woven  crimson,  gold,  and 

jet:  — 
O  for  some  drowsy  Morphean  amulet  I 
The  boisterous,  midnight,  festive  clarion. 
The  ketde-drum,  and  far-heard  clarionet. 
Affray  his  ears,  though  but  in  dying 

tone:  — 
The  hall-door  shuts  again,  and  all  the  noise 

is  gone. 

XXX 

And  still  she  slept  an  azure-lidded  sleep, 

In  blanchg^  linen,  smooth,  and  laven- 
der'd, 

While  he  from  forth  the  closet  brought 
a  heap 

Of  candied  apple,  quince,  and  plum,  and 
gourd; 

With  jellies  soother  than  the   creamy 
curd, 

And  lucent  syrops,  tinct  with  cinnamon; 

Manna  and  dates,  in  argosy  transferred 

From  Fez;  and  spiced  dainties,  every 
one. 
From  silken  Samarcand  to  cedar^d  Leba- 
non. 


XXXI 

These  delicates  he  heap'd  with  glowing 

hand 
On  golden  dishes  and  in  baskets  bright 
Of   wreathed    silver:    sumptuous    they 

stand 
In  the  retired  quiet  of  the  night, 
Filling  the  chilly  room  with  perfume 

Ught.  — 
'And  now,  my  love,  my   seraph  £air» 

awake ! 
Thou  art  my  heaven,  and  I  thine  ere- 
mite: 
Open  thine  eyes,  for  meek  St.  Agnes^ 

sake, 
Or  I  shall  drowse  beside  thee,  so  my  soul 

doth  ache.' 

XXXII 

Thus  whispering,  his  warm,   unnerved 

arm 
Sank  in  her  pillow.    Shaded  was  her 

dream 
By  the  dusk  curtains:  —  'twas  a  mid- 
night charm 
Impossible  to  melt  as  iced  stream: 
The  lustrous  salvers  in  the  moonlight 

gleam ; 
Broad  golden  fringe  upon    the   carpet 

lies: 
It  seem'd  he  never,  never  oould  redeem 
From  such  a  steadfast  spell  his  lady'a 

eyes; 
So  mused  awhile,  entoil'd  in  woofed  phaii* 

tasies. 

XXXIII 

Awakening    up,    he    took   her    hollow 

lute, — 
Tumultuous,  —  and,  in  chords  that  ten- 

derest  be, 
He  play'd  an  ancient  ditty,  long  siiioe 

mute. 
In  Provence  call'd  '  La  beUe  dame  sans 

mercy:  * 
Close  to  her  ear  touching  the  melody;— 
Wherewith  disturb'd,  she  utter'd  a  soil 

moan: 


\ 


\ 


THE  EVE  OF  ST.  AGNES 


133 


Hft   eeued  —  she  panted   qoick  —  and 

Solution  sweet:  meantime  the  frost-wind 

raddmlj 

blows 

Her  blue  affrayed  eyes  wide  open  shone: 

like  Love's  alarum  pattering  the  sharp 

Upon  bit  knees  be  sank,  pale  a^^jmooth-.. 

sleet 

msigtaaiiMsS$: 

Against  the  window-panes;  St.  Agnes'  moon 

hath  set. 

XXXIV 

Her  eyes  were  open,  but  she  still  beheld, 

XXXVII 

Now  wide  awake,  the  vision  of  her  sleep: 

'Tis  dark:    quick  pattereth    the  flaw- 

There  was  a  painfnl  change,  that  nigh 

blown  sleet: 

expeU'd 

*  This  is  no  dream,  my  bride,  my  Made- 

Tlie blisses  of  her  dream  so  pure  and 

line!' 

deep 

'Tis  dark:  the  iced  gusts  still  rave  andL 

At  iriiieb  fair  Madeline  began  to  weep, 

^     beat: 

And    moan    forth  witless    words    with 

*No  dream,  alas !  alas  !  and  woe  is  mine  ! 

many  a  sigh; 

Porphyro  will  leave  me  here  to  fade  and 

While  still  her  gaze  on  Porphyro  would 

pine.  — 

keep; 

Cruel !   what  traitor  could  thee  hither 

Wbo  knelt,  with  joined  hands  and  piteous 

bring? 

eye. 

I  curse  not,  for  my  heart  is  lost  in  thine. 

Fearing  to  move  or  speak,  she  look'd  so 

Though     thou     forsakest    a    deceived 

dreamingly. 

thing;  — 

A  dove  forlorn  and  lost  with  sick  unpruned 

XXXV 

wing.' 

*  Ah,  Porphyro! '  said  she, '  but  even  now 

Thy  ?<nee  was  at  sweet  tremble  in  mine 

XXXVIII 

•», 

'  My  Madeline  !  sweet  dreamer  !  lovely 

Made  tuneable  with  every  sweetest  vow; 

bride  ! 

And  those  sad  eyes  were  spiritual  and 

Say,  may  I  be  for  aye  thy  vassal  blest  ? 

dear: 

Thy  beauty's  shield,  heart-shaped  and 

How  changed  thou  art !  how  pallid,  chill. 

vermeil  dyed  ? 

and  drear ! 

Ah,  silver  shrine,  here  will  I  take  my 

Gife  me  that  voice  again,  my  Porphyro, 

rest 

Those  looks  immortal,  those  complain- 

After so  many  hours  of  toQ  and  quest. 

ings  dear! 

A  famish'd  pilgrim,  —  saved  by  miracle. 

Oh  leave  me  not  in  this  eternal  woe. 

Though  I  have  found,  I  will  not  rob  thy 

f«r  if  thoa  diest,  my  Love,  I  know  not 

nest 

where  to  go.' 

Saving  of  thy  sweet  self;  if  thou  think'st 

'        well                               " 

To  trust,  fair  Madeline,  to  no  rude  infidel. 

XXXVI 

Btyond  a  mortal  man  impassioned  far 

it  these  voluptuous  accents,  he  arose. 

XXXIX 

Ethereal,  flush'd,  and  like  a  throbbing 

*  Hark !  't  is  an  elfin  storm  from  faery 

star 

land. 

8nB  mid  the  sapphire  heaven's  deep  re- 

Of haggard  seeming,  but  a  boon  indeed: 

pose; 

Arise  —  arise  I  the  morning  is  at  hand :  — 

liiifc  kar>  ^*«ff«w  K*>  m^l^,  ipf  ^  i¥w> 

The  bloated  wassailers  will  never  heed :  — 

Ih^eth  its  odoor  with  the  viohtL  — 

Let  us  away,  my  love,  with  happy  s^jeedx 

134 


THE  POEMS   OF   1818-1819 


There  are  no  ears  to  hear,  or  eyes  to 

see, — 
Drown'd  all  in  Bhenish  and  the  sleepy 

mead: 
Awake  !  arise  !  my  love,  and  fearless  be. 
For  o'er  the  southern  moors  I  have  a  home 

for  thcfe.' 

XL 

She  harried  at  his   words,  beset  with 

fears, 
For    there   were    sleeping    dragons   all 

around. 
At  glaring  watch,  perhaps,  with  ready 

spears  — 
Down  the  wide  stairs  a  darkling  way  they 

found.  — 
In  all  the  house  was  heard  no  human 

sound. 
A  chain-droop'd  lamp  was  flickering  by 

each  door; 
The  arras,  rich  with  horseman,  hawk, 

and  hound, 
FLattep'd.  in  the  beaieeng^md?8,-a£3^ 

roar; 
And  the  long  carpets  rosejJongthe  gusty  _ 

floor. 

XLI 

They  glide,  like  phantoms,  into  the  wide 

hall; 
Like  phantoms  to  the  iron  porch  they 

glide, 
Where  lay  the  Porter,  in  uneasy  sprawl. 
With  a  huge  empty  flagon  by  his  side: 
The  wakeful  bloodhound  rose,  and  shook 

his  hide, 
But  his  sagacious  eye  an  inmate  owns: 
By  one,  and  one,  the  bolts   full  easy 

slide:  — 
The  chains  lie  silent  on  the   footworn 

stoues;  — 
The  key  turns,  and  the  door  upon  its  hinges 

groans. 

XLII 

And  they  are  gone:  aye,  ages  long  ago 
These  lovers  fled  away  into  the  storm. 


That  night  the  Baron  dreamt  of  many  a 

woe. 
And  all  his  warrior-guests,  with  shade 

and  form 
Of  witch,  and  demon,  and  large  coffin- 

worm. 
Were  long  be-nightmared.    Angela  the 

old 
Died  palsy-twitch'd,  with  meagre  face 

deform ; 
The  Beadsman,  after  thousand  aves  told. 
For  aye  unsonght-for  slept  among  his  ashes 

cold. 


ODE   ON  A  GRECIAN   URN 

Lempri^*8  classical  dictionary  made  Keats 
acquainted  with  the  names  and  attributes  of  the 
inhabitants  of  the  heavens  in  the  ancient  world, 
and  the  Shakesperean  Chapman  introduced 
him  to  Homer,  but  his  acquaintance  with  the 
subtlest  spirit  of  Greece  was  by  a  more  direct 
means.  Keats  did  not  read  Greek,  and  he  had 
no  scholar's  knowledge  of  Greek  art,  but  he 
had  the  poetic  divination  which  scholars  some- 
times fail  to  possess,  and  when  he  strolled  into 
the  British  Museum  and  saw  the  Elg^in  marbles, 
the  g^atest  remains  in  continnons  series  of  per- 
haps the  greatest  of  Greek  sculptures,  he  saw 
them  as  an  artist  of  kindred  spirit  with  their 
makers.  He  saw  them  also  with  the  complex 
emotion  of  a  modem,  and  read  into  them  his 
own  thoughts.  The  result  is  most  surely  read 
in  his  longer  poem  of  Hyperion^  but  the  spirit 
evoked  found  its  finest  expression  in  this  ode. 

The  ode  appears  to  have  been  composed  in 
the  spring  of  1810  and  first  published  in  Janu- 
ary, 1820,  in  Anncdt  of  the  Fine  Arts.  There  are 
then  about  four  years  in  time  between  the  stm* 
net,  *  On  first  looking  into  Chapman's  Homer,' 
and  this  ode ;  if  the  former  sug^sts  a  BalboSi 
this  suggests  a  Magellan  who  has  traversed  the 
Pacific.  It  is  not  needful  to  find  any  sin|^ 
piece  of  ancient  sculpture  as  a  model  for  ih^ 
poem,  although  there  is  at  Holland  Hoqm, 
where  Keats  might  have  seen  it,  an  nm  wilk 
just  such  a  scene  of  pastoral  sacrifice  as  is  de» 
scribed  in  the  fourth  stanza.  The  ode  was 
included  by  Keats  in  Lamia,  IsaheUcL,  Ike  £bt 
of  St,  Agnes  and  other  Poemg,  > 


ODE  ON  INDOLENCE 


I3S 


Thou  still  unraTiah'd  bride  of  qaietness, 
ThoQ  foster-child  of  Silence  and  slow 
Hmey 
Sjlvmn  historiany  who  canst  thus  express 
A  flowery  tale  more  sweetly  than  our 
rhyme: 
What  leaf-fringed  legend  haunts  about  thy 
shape 
Of  deities  or  mortals,  or  of  both, 

In  Tempo  or  the  dales  of  Arcady  ? 
What  men  or  gods  are  these  ?    what 
maidens  loth  ? 
What  mad  pursuit  ?    What  struggle  to  es- 
cape ? 
What  pipes  and  timbrels  ?  What  wild 
ecstasy?  lo 

II 

Heaid  melodies  are  sweet,  but  those  un- 
heard 
Axe  sweeter;  therefore,  ye  soft  pipes, 
{day  on; 
5ot  to  the  sensual  ear,  but,  more  endear'd 

Pipe  to  the  spirit  ditties  of  no  tone: 
Fair  yooth,  beneath  the  trees,  thou  canst 
not  leave 
Thy  song,  nor  CTcr  can  those  trees  be 
hare; 
Bold  LoTcr,  never,  never  canst  thou 

Mm, 

Thoagh  winning  near  the  goal  —  yet,  do 

not  grieve; 

SbB  cannot  fade,  though  thou  hast  not 

thy  bliss,  19 

For  ever  wilt  thou  love,  and  she  be  fair  I 

III 

iftb  ^pP7f  happy  boughs!    that  cannot 
died 
Tear  leaves,  nor  ever  bid  the  Spring 
adieu; 
iad,  htuppj  melodist,  unwearied. 

For  ever  piping  songs  for  ever  new; 
Khv   bappy  love!    more    happy,  happy 
lovel 
For  ever  warm  and  still  to  be  enjoy'd. 
For  ever  panting,  and  for  ever  young; 


All  breathing  human  passion  far  above, 
That  leaves  a  heart  high-sorrowful  and 
doy'd, 
A  burning  forehead,  and  a  parching 
tongue. 


30 


IV 


Who  are  these  coming  to  the  sacrifice  ? 

To  what  g^en  altar,  O  mysterious  priest, 
Lead'st  thou  that  heifer  lowing  at  the  skies. 
And  all  her  silken  flanks  with  garlands 
drest? 
What  little  town  by  river  or  sea  shore. 
Or  mountain-built  with  peaceful  citadel, 
Is  emptied   of  this   folk,   this    pious 
morn? 
And,  little  town,  thy  streets  for  evermore 
Will  silent  be;  and  not  a  soul  to  teU 
Why  thou  art  desolate,  can  e'er  re- 
turn. 40 


O  Attic  shape  I     Fair  attitude  I  with  brede^ 
Of  marble  men  and  maidens  overwrought,  ia 
With  forest  branches  and  the  trodden  weed;  *^ 
Thou,  silent  form,  dost  tease  us  out  of  . 
thought 
As  doth  eternity  :  Cold  Pastoral !  f 

When  old  age  shall  this  generation  waste,    c 
Thou  shalt  remain,  in  midst  of  other   x 
woe 
Than  ours,  a  friend  to  man,  to  whom  ^ 
thou  say'st, 

/'Beauty  is  truth,  truth  beauty,'  —  that  is  (. 
all 
Ye  know  on  earth,  and  all  ye  need  to    ^ 
know.  50 


ODE   ON    INDOLENCE 

'  They  toil  not,  neither  do  they  spin.' 

Published  in  Lifej  Letters  and  Literary  i?e- 
mains.  In  a  letter  to  Geor^  and  Gkorgiana 
Keats,  dated  March  19,  18 10,  Keats  uses  lan- 
g^uage  which  shows  this  poem  to  have  been 
just  then  in  his  mind :  *  This  morning  I  am  in  a 
sort  of  temper,  indolent  and  snpremel^  cax«V 


136 


THE  POEMS  OF   1818-1819 


—  I  long  after  a  stanza  or  two  of  Thomaon's 
CSastle  of  Indolence  —  my  pauions  are  all 
asleepf  from  my  haying  elnmbered  till  nearly 
eleren,  and  weaJcened  the  animal  fibre  all  orer 
me,  to  a  delightful  sensation,  abont  three  de- 
grees on  this  side  of  f  aintness.  If  I  had  teeth 
of  pearl  and  the  breath  of  lilies  I  should  call 
it  languor,  but  as  I  am  I  must  call  it  laziness. 
In  this  state  of  effeminacy  the  fibres  of  the 
brain  are  relaxed  in  conmion  with  the  rest  of 
the  body,  and  to  such  a  happy  degree  that 
pleasure  has  no  show  of  enticement  and  pain 
no  unbearable  power.  Neither  Poetry,  nor 
Ambition,  nor  Loto  hare  any  alertness  of 
countenance  as  they  pass  by  me ;  they  teem 
rather  like  figures  on  a  Greek  vase  —  a  man 
and  two  women  whom  no  one  but  myself  could 
distinguish  in  their  disguisement.  This  is  the 
only  happiness,  and  is  a  rare  instance  of  the 
advantage  of  the  body  oTerpowering  the  Mind.' 


One  mom  before  me  were  three  figures 
seen, 
With  bowed  necks,  and  joined  hands, 
side-faced; 
And  one  behind  the  other  stepp'd  serene, 
In  placid  sandals,  and  in  white  robes 
graced; 
They  pass'd,  like  figures  on  a  marble  um, 
When  shifted  round  to  see  the  other 
side; 
They  came  again;  as  when  the  um 
once  more 
Is  shifted  round,  the  first  seen  shades  re- 
turn; 
And  they  were  strange  to  me,  as  may 
betide 
With  vases,  to  one  deep  in  Phidian 
lore. 

II 

How  is  it,  Shadows  !    that    I    knew  ye 
not? 
How  came  ye  muffled  in  so  hush  a  mask  ? 
Was  it  a  silent  deep-disguised  plot 

To  steal  away,  and  leave  without  a  task 
My   idle   days  ?    Ripe   was    the    drowsy 
hour; 


The  blissful  cloud  of  8ummer4ndolenoe 
Benumb'd  my  eyes;  my  pulse  grew 
less  and  less; 
Pain  had  no  sting,  and  pleasure's  wreath 
no  flower: 
O,  why  did  ye  not  melt,  and  leave  my 
sense 
Unhannted  quite  of  all  but  —  nothing- 
ness? 

Ill 

A  third  time  pass'd  they  by,  and,  passing, 
tum'd 
Each  one  the  face  a  moment  whiles  to 
me; 
Then  faded,  and  to  follow  them  I  bnm'd 
And  ached  for  wings,  because  I  knew 
the  three; 
The  first  was  a  fair  Maid,  and  Love  her 
name; 
The  second  was  Ambition,  pale  of  cheek. 
And    ever    watchful    with    fatigued 
eye; 
The  last,  whom  I  love  more,  the  more  of 
blame 
Is  heap'd  upon  her,  maiden  most  an- 
meek,  — 
I  knew  to  be  my  demon  Poesy. 

IV 

They   faded,   and,    forsooth  I     I    wanted 
wings: 
O  folly  I    What  is  Love  ?  and  where  is 
it? 
And  for  that  poor  Ambition  I  it  springs 
From  a  man's  little  heart's  short  fever- 
fit; 
For  Poesy  !  —  no,  —  she  has  not  a  joy,  — 
At  least  for  me,  —  so  sweet  as  <^wBy 
noons. 
And  evenings  steep'd  in  honied  indo- 
lence; 
O,  for  an  age  so  shelter'd  from  annoy. 
That  I  may  never  know  how  change  the 
moons. 
Or  hear  the  voice  of  busy  common- 
sense  I 


ODE  TO   FANNY 


137 


And  onee   more  eame    thej  by;  —  alas! 
wherefore? 
Mj  sleep  bad  been  embroidered  with  dim 
dreams; 
My  soal  bad  been    a  lawn    besprinkled 
o'er 
^Vith  flowers,  and  stirring  shades,  and 
bafBed  beams: 
The  mom  was  clouded,  but  no  shower  fell, 
Tho*  in  ber  lids  bung  the  sweet  tears  of 
May; 
The  open  casement  press'd    a  new- 
leaTed  vine. 
Let  in  the  badding  warmth  and  throstle's 
Uy; 
0  Shadows  !  't  was  a  time  to  bid  farewell ! 
Upon  yoor  skirts  had  fidlen  no  tears 
of  mine. 

VI 

So,  je  three  Ghosts,  adieu  I    Ye  cannot 


Mt  bead  cool -bedded  in  the  flowery 


For  I  would  not  be  dieted  with  praise, 
'     A  pet-lamb  in  a  sentimental  farce  ! 
Fide  softly  from  my  eyes  and  be  once 
more 
In  masque-like  figures  on  the  dreamy 
nm; 
Farewell !    I  yet  have  visions  for  the 
night, 
Aad  for  the  day  faint  visions  there  is  store; 
Vanish,  ye  Phantoms  !  from  my  idle 
sprig^t, 
Isto  the  clouds,  and  nevermore  return  ! 


SONNET 

PsUiihed  in  Idfej  Letters  and  Literary  Re- 
^nju.  In  a  letter  to  his  brother  George  and 
vift,  Keats  writes  March  19,  1810:  'I  am 
**v  afraid  that  your  anxiety  for  me  will  lead 
?n  to  fear  for  the  violence  of  my  tempera- 
■■t  eootiBaally  snutthered  down:  for  that 
*MM  I  did  aot  intend  to  have  sent  yon  the 
Wbviig  aooDet  —  bat  look  over  the  two  last 


pages  [of  his  letter]  and  ask  yourselves  whether 
I  have  not  that  in  me  which  will  bear  the  buf- 
fets of  the  world.  It  vrill  be  the  best  comment 
on  my  sonnet ;  it  vrill  show  you  that  it  was 
written  with  no  Agony  but  that  of  ignorance  ; 
with  no  thirst  of  an3rthing  but  Knowledge 
when  pushed  to  the  point,  though  the  fiist 
steps  to  it  were  through  my  human  passions,  — 
they  went  away  and  I  wrote  with  my  Mind 
—  and  perhaps  I  must  confess  a  little  bit  of  my 
heart.' 

Why  did  I  laugh  to-night  ?    No  voice  will 
tell; 
No  Grod,  no  Demon  of  severe  response. 
Deigns  to  reply  from  Heaven  or  from  Hell: 
Then  to  my  human  heart  I  turn  at  once. 
Heart !  Thou  and  I  are  here  sad  and  alone; 
I  say,  why  did  I  laugh  ?    O  mortal  pain  ! 
O  Darkness  I  Darkness  !  ever  must  I  moan. 
To  question  Heaven  and  Hell  and  Heart 
in  vain. 
Why  did  I  laugh  ?    I  know  this  Being's 
lease. 
My  fancy  to  its  utmost  blisses  spreads; 
Yet  would  I  on  this  very  midnight  cease. 
And  the  world's  gaudy  ensigns  see  in 
shreds; 
Verse,    Fame,    and    Beauty    are    intense 

indeed. 
But  Death  intenser  —  Death  is  Life's  high 
meed. 


ODE   TO   FANNY 

First  published  in  Li/ej  Letters  and  Literary 
RemainSy  and  there  undated. 

Physician  Nature  !  let  my  spirit  blood ! 

O  ease  my  heart  of  verse  and  let  me  rest; 
Throw  me  upon  thy  Tripod,  till  the  flood 
Of  stifling  numbers  ebbs  from  my  full 
breast. 
A  theme  !  a  theme  !  great  Nature  I 

give  a  theme; 
Let  me  begin  my  dream. 
I  come  —  I  see  thee,  as  thou  standest  there; 
Beckon  me  not  into  the  wintry  air. 


138 


THE  POEMS  OF   1818-1819 


Ah  I  dearest  love,  sweet  home  of  all  mj 
fears, 
And  hopes,  and  joys,  and  panting  mis- 
eries, — 
To-night,  if  I  may  g^ess,  thy  beauty  wears 
A  smile  of  such  delight. 
As  brilliant  and  as  bright, 
As  when  with  ravished,  aching,  vassal 
eyes, 
Lost  in  soft  amaze, 
I  gaze,  I  gaze  ! 

Who  now,  with  g^edy  looks,  eats  up  my 
feast? 
What  stare  outfaces  now  my  silver  moon ! 
Ah  I  keep  that  hand  unravished  at  the  least ; 
Let,  let  the  amorous  burn  — 
But,  pr'ythee,  do  not  turn 
The  current  of  your  heart  from  me  so 
soon. 
O  !  save,  in  charity, 
The  quickest  pulse  for  me. 

Save  it  for  me,  sweet  love  !  though  music 
breathe 
Voluptuous  visions  into  the  warm  air, 
Though  swimming  through  the  dance's  dan- 
gerous wreath; 
Be  like  an  April  day, 
Smiling  and  cold  and  gay, 
A  temperate  lily,  temperate  as  fair; 
Then,  Heaven  !  there  will  be 
A  warmer  June  for  me. 

Why,  this  —  you  '11  say,  my  Fanny  !  is  not 
true: 
Put  your  soft  hand  upon  your  snowy  side. 
Where   the    heart    beats:    confess  —  'tb 
nothing  new  — 
Must  not  a  woman  be 
A  feather  on  the  sea, 
Sway'd  to  and  fro  by  every  wind  and 
tide? 
Of  as  uncertain  speed 
As  blow-ball  from  the  mead  ? 

I  know  it  —  and  to  know  it  is  despair 
To  one  who  loves  you  as  I  love,  sweet 
Annf  / 


Whose  heart  goes  fluttering  for  you  every- 
where, 
Nor,  when  away  you  roam, 
Dare  keep  its  wretched  home  : 
Love,  love  alone,  has  pains  severe  and 
many : 
Then,  loveliest !  keep  me  free 
From  torturing  jealousy. 

Ah  !  if  you  prize  my  subdued  soul  above 
The  poor,  the  fading,  brief  pride  of  an 
hour; 
Let  none  profane  my  Holy  See  of  love, 
Or  with  a  rude  hand  break 
The  sacramental  cake: 
Let  none  else  touch  the  just  new-budded 
flower; 
If  not  —  may  my  eyes  close. 
Love  !  on  their  last  repose. 


A  DREAM,  AFTER  READING 
DANTE'S  EPISODE  OF  PAOLO 
AND  FRANCESCA 

To  George  and  Georgfiana  Keats,  April  IS  or 
19,  1819,  Keats  writes:  'The  fifth  canto  of 
Dante  pleases  me  more  and  more  —  it  is  that 
one  in  which  he  meets  with  Paolo  and  Fnui- 
cesca.  I  had  passed  many  days  in  rather  a 
low  state  of  mind,  and  in  the  midst  of  them  I 
dreamt  of  being  in  that  region  of  HelL  The 
dream  was  one  of  the  most  delightful  enjoy- 
ments I  ever  had  in  my  life.  I  floated  about 
the  whirling  atmosphere,  as  it  is  described,  with 
a  beautiful  figure,  to  whose  lips  mine  were 
joined  as  it  seemed  for  an  ag^  —  and  in  the 
midst  of  all  this  cold  and  darlmess  I  was  warm 
—  even  flowery  tree-tops  sprung  up,  and  we 
rested  on  them,  sometimes  with  the  lightness 
of  a  cloud,  till  the  wind  blew  us  away  again. 
I  tried  a  sonnet  upon  it — there  are  fourteen 
lines,  but  nothing  of  what  I  felt  in  it  —  O  that 
I  could  dream  it  every  night.'  Keats  after- 
wards printed  the  sonnet  in  The  Indicator  for 
June  28,  1820. 

As  Hermes  once  took  to  his  feathers  light. 
When  lulled  Argus,  baffled,  swoon'd  and 
slept 
So  on  a  Delphic  reed,  my  idle  spHght 


LA   BELLE  DAME  SANS   MERCI 


139 


So  play'dy  ao  charm'd,  so  conquer'd,  so 
bereft 
The  dragon-world  of  all  its  hundred  eyes; 

And,  seeing  it  asleep,  so  fled  away  — 
Not  to  pure  Ida  with  its  snow-cold  skies, 
Nor  unto  Tempe  where  Jove  grieved  a 
day; 
But  to  that  seeond  circle  of  sad  hell. 
Where  'mid  the  gust,  the  whirlwind,  and 
the  flaw 
Of  rain  and  hail-stones,  lovers  need  not  tell 
Their  sorrows.    Pale  were  the  sweet  lips 
I  saw. 
Pale  were  the  lips  I  kiss'd,  and  fair  the  form 
I  floated  with,  about  that  melancholy  storm. 


LA  BELLE  DAME  SANS  MERCI 

Seat  in  a  letter  to  Qeorge  and  Georg^iana 
Keiita,  April  28,  1819,  and  printed  by  Leigh 
Hnt  in  The  Indicator,  Bfay  10,  1820.  Hnnt 
»yi  the  poem  was  snggested  by  that  title  at 
tke  head  of  a  translation  from  Alan  Chartier 
at  the  end  of  Qiancer's  works. 


Ah,  what  can  ail  thee,  wretched  wight. 
Alone  and  palely  loitering  ? 

Iks  sedge  is  wither'd  from  the  lake. 
And  no  birds  sing. 

II 
Ak,  what  can  ail  thee,  wretched  wight, 

So  haggard  and  so  woe-begone  ? 
Ike  sqairrel's  granary  is  full, 

Aad  the  harvest 's  done. 

Ill 

I  ne  a  lily  on  thy  brow. 

With  anguish  moist  and  fever  dew; 
Aid  on  thy  cheek  a  fading  rose 

Fast  withereth  too. 

IV 

I  aet  a  lady  in  the  meads. 
Fan  beantaful — a  faery's  child ; 

Her  katr  was  long,  her  foot  was  light, 
Aad  her  eyes  were  wild. 


I  set  her  on  my  pacing  steed. 

And  nothing  else  saw  all  day  long, 

For  sideways  would  she  lean,  and  sing 
A  faery's  song. 


VI 


I  made  a  garland  for  her  head, 

And  bracelets  too,  and  fragrant  zone; 

She  look'd  at  me  as  she  did  love. 
And  made  sweet  moan. 


VII 


She  found  me  roots  of  relish  sweet. 
And  honey  wild,  and  manna  dew; 

And  sure  in  language  strange  she  said— 
*  I  love  thee  true.' 


VIII 

She  took  me  to  her  elfin  g^t. 

And  there  she  gazed,  and  sighed  deep. 
And  there  I  shut  her  wild  wild  eyes 

So  kiss'd  to  sleep. 

IX 

And  there  we  slumber'd  on  the  moss. 
And  there  I  dream'd  —  Ah !  woe  betide  I 

The  latest  dream  I  ever  dream'd 
On  the  cold  hill  side. 


I  saw  pale  kings,  and  princes  too. 

Pale  warriors,  death-pale  were  they  all; 

They  cried  —  *  La  Belle  Dame  sans  Merd 
Hath  thee  in  thrall  I ' 

XI 

I  saw  their  starved  lips  in  the  gloam. 
With  horrid  warning  gaped  wide, 

And  I  awoke,  and  found  me  here 
On  the  cold  hill  side. 

XII 

And  this  is  why  I  sojourn  here, 

Alone  and  palely  loitering, 
Though  the   sedge   is  wither'd   from   the 
lake. 

And  no  birds  sing. 


I40 


THE  POEMS  OF   1818-1819 


CHORUS   OF   FAIRIES 

Inclosed  in  a  letter  to  George  and  Gkoigiana 
Keats,  April  28,  1810,  and  printed  in  Life, 
Letters  and  Literary  Remains. 

FIRE,  AIR,  EARTH,  AND  WATER 
SALAMANDER,   ZEPHYR,   DUSKETHA,  AND 

BREAMA 

SALAMANDER 

Hafpt,  happy  glowing  fire  ! 

ZEPHYR 

Fragrant  air  1  delicious  light ! 

DUSKETHA 

Let  me  to  my  glooms  retire  ! 

BREAMA 

I  to  green-weed  rivers  bright  I 

SALAMANDER 

Happy,  happy  glowing  fire  I 

Dazzling  bowers  of  soft  retire. 

Ever  let  my  nourished  wing. 

Like  a  bat's,  still  wandering, 

Faintly  fan  your  fiery  spaces, 

Spirit  sole  in  deadly  places.  10 

In  unhaunted  roar  and  blaze. 

Open  eyes  that  never  daze. 

Let  me  see  the  myriad  shapes 

Of  men,  and  beasts,  and  fish,  and  apes, 

Portray'd  in  many  a  fiery  den, 

And  wrought  by  spumy  bitumen. 

On  the  deep  intenser  roof. 

Arched  every  way,  aloof, 

Let  me  breathe  upon  my  skies. 

And  ang^r  their  live  tapestries;  20 

Free  from  cold,  and  every  care. 

Of  chilly  rain,  and  shivering  air. 

ZEPHYR 

Spright  of  Fire  I  away  !  away  ! 
Or  your  very  roundelay 
Will  sear  my  plumage  newly  budded 
From  its  quilled  sheath,  and  studded 
With  the  self-same  dews  that  fell 
On  the  May-grown  Asphodel. 
Spright  of  Fire  —  away  I  away  I 


BREAMA 


Spright  of  Fire  —  away  !  away  ! 
Zephyr,  blue-eyed  Faery,  turn. 
And  see  my  oool  sedge-shaded  urn. 
Where  it  rests  its  mossy  brim 
'Mid  water-mint  and  cresses  dim ; 
And  the  flowers,  in  sweet  troubles. 
Lift  their  eyes  above  the  bubbles. 
Like  our  Queen,  when  she  would  please 
To  sleep,  and  Oberon  will  tease. 
Love  me,  blue-eyed  Faery  I  true, 
Soothly  I  am  sick  for  you. 


30 


4C 


ZEPHYR 

Gentle  Breama  !  by  the  first 
Violet  young  nature  uurst, 
I  will  bathe  myself  with  thee. 
So  you  sometime  follow  me 
To  my  home,  far,  far,  in  west. 
Far  beyond  the  search  and  quest 
Of  the  golden-browed  sun. 
Come  with  me,  o'er  tops  of  trees. 
To  my  fragrant  palaces. 
Where  they  ever  floating  are 
Beneath  the  cherish  of  a  star 
Call'd  Vesper,  who  with  silver  veil 
Ever  hides  his  brilliance  pale. 
Ever  gently-drowsed  doth  keep 
Twilight  for  the  Fays  to  sleep. 
Fear  not  that  your  watery  hair 
Will  thirst  in  drouthy  ringlets  there; 
Clouds  of  stored  summer  rains 
Thou  shalt  taste,  before  the  stains 
Of  the  mountain  soil  they  take. 
And  too  unlucent  for  thee  make. 
I  love  thee,  crystal  Faery,  true  ! 
Sooth  I  am  as  sick  for  you  I 

SALAMANDER 

Out,  ye  aguish  Faeries,  out ! 
Chilly  lovers,  what  a  rout 
Keep  ye  with  your  frozen  breath. 
Colder  than  the  mortal  death. 
Adder-eyed  Dusketha,  speak. 
Shall  we  leave  them,  and  go  seek 
In  the  earth's  wide  entrails  old 
Couches  warm  as  theirs  is  cold  ? 
O  for  a  fiery  gloom  and  thee. 


*« 


60 


70 


FAERY   SONGS 


141 


Dnikffthm,  lo  eDchaniingly 
FieeUe-wiog'd  and  lizard-sided  ! 

DUSKETHA 

By  thee,  Spright,  will  I  be  gaided  I 

I  eare  not  for  cold  or  heat; 

Frost  and  flame,  or  sparks,  or  sleet, 

To  my  essence  are  the  same;  — 

Bat  I  bonoor  more  the  flame. 

Spright  of  fire,  I  follow  thee  80 

Wheresoever  it  may  be; 

To  the  torrid  spouts  and  fountains, 

Underneath  earth-quaked  mountains; 

Or,  at  thy  supreme  desire, 

Touch  the  very  pulse  of  fire 

With  my  bare  nnlidded  eyes. 

SALAMANDER 

Sweet  Dnsketha  !  paradise  ! 
Off,  ye  icy  Spirits,  fly  I 
Frosty  creatures  of  the  sky  ! 

DUSKETHA 

Breathe  npon  them,  fiery  Spright !  90 

ZEPHYR,  BREAMA  (fo  ioch  oiker) 

Away  f  away  to  our  delight  I 

SALAMANDER 

Go,  feed  on  icicles,  while  we 
Bedded  in  tongued  flames  will  be. 

DUSKETHA 

Lad  me  to  these  fev'rous  glooms, 
Spright  of  fire! 

BREAMA 

Me  to  the  blooms, 
Bbe  eyed  Zephyr  of  those  flowers 
Far  in  the  west  where  the  May -cloud  lowers : 
And  the  beams  of  still  Vesper,  where 

winds  are  all  whist, , 
Aie  shed  thro'  the  rain  and  the  milder 
misty 
Aad  twilight  your  floating  bowers. 


100 


FAERY    SONGS 

T^^M  two  iongt  are  given  in  JJft^  Letters 
^  Xitarorf  Remams,  but  without  date.    It 


seems  not  inapt  to  place  them  near  the  Song  of 
Four  Fairies. 

I 

Shed  no  tear !    O  shed  no  tear  I 
The  flower  wiU  bloom  another  year. 
Weep  no  more  I     O  weep  no  more  ! 
Young  buds  sleep  in  the  root's  white  core. 
Dry  your  eyes  !     O  dry  your  eyes. 
For  I  was  taught  in  Paradise 
To  ease  my  breast  of  melodies  — 

Shed  no  tear. 

Overhead  !  look  overhead 
'Mong  the  blossoms  white  and  red  — 
Look  up,  look  up  —  I  flutter  now 
On  this  flush  pomegranate  bough. 
See  me  !  't  is  this  silvery  bill 
Ever  cures  the  good  mau*s  ill. 
Shed  no  tear  !     O  shed  no  tear  ! 
The  flower  will  bloom  another  year. 
Adieu,  Adieu  —  I  fly,  adieu, 
I  vanish  in  the  heaven^s  blue  — 

Adieu,  Adieu ! 

II 

Ah  !  woe  is  me  I  poor  silver-wing  I 

That  I  must  chant  thy  lady's  dirge, 
And  death  to  this  fair  haunt  of  spring, 
Of    melody,    and    streams    of    flowery 
verge,  — 

Poor  silver-wing  I  ah  !  woe  is  me  ! 
That  I  must  see 
These  blossoms  snow  upon  thy  lady's  pall  1 
Go,  pretty  page  !  and  in  her  ear 
Whisper  that  the  hour  is  near  ! 
Softly  tell  her  not  to  fear 
Such  calm  favonian  burial ! 

Go,  pretty  pag^  I  and  soothly  tell,  — 
The  blossoms  hang  by  a  melting  spell. 
And  fall  they  must,  ere  a  star  wink  thrice 

Upon  her  closed  eyes, 
That  now  in  vain  are  weeping  their  last 
tears. 
At  sweet  life  leaving,  and  those  arbours 
green,— 
Rich    dowry    from    the    Spirit    of    the 
Spheres,  — 

Alas  I  poor  Queen  ! 


1-: 


142 


THE  POEMS  OF   1818-1819 


ON   FAME 

*  Yoo  cannot  eat  your  cake  and  have  it  too.'  ~  Proverb. 

Sent  with  the  next  two  to  G^rge  and  G^igi- 
mna  Keats,  April  80, 1810,  and  printed  in  Xi/e, 
Letter$  and  LiUrary  Remains, 

HoW  feyer'd  is  thai  man,  who  cannot  look 
Upon  his  mortal  days  with  temperate 
blood, 
Who  yezes  all  the  leares  of  his  life's  book, 
And  robs  his  fair  name  of  its  maiden- 
hood: 
It  is  as  if  the  rose  should  pluck  herself. 

Or  the  ripe  plum  finger  its  misty  bloom; 
As  if  a  Naiad,  like  a  meddling  elf. 
Should  darken  her  pure  g^t  with  muddy 
gloom. 
But  the  rose  leayes  herself  upon  the  brier, 
For  winds  to  kiss  and  grateful  bees  to 
feed. 
And  the  ripe  plum  still  wears  its  dim  at- 
tire. 
The  undisturbed  lake  has  crystal  space : 
Why  then  should  man,  teasing  the 
world  for  grace. 
Spoil  his  salvation  for  a  fierce  miscreed  ? 


ANOTHER   ON   FAME 

FAifE,  like  a  wayward  g^rl,  will  still  be  coy 
To  those  who  woo  her  with  too  slavish 
knees. 
But  makes  surrender  to  some  thoughtless 
boy, 
And  dotes  the  more  upon  a  heart  at  ease; 
She  is  a  Gipsy,  —  will  not  speak  to  those 
Who  have  not  learnt  to  be  content  with- 
out her; 
A  Jilt,   whose  ear  was   never  whisper'd 
close, 
Who  thinks  they  scandal  her  who  talk 
about  her; 
A  very  Gipsy  is  she,  Nilus-bom, 

Sister-in-law  to  jealous  Potiphar; 
Ye  lovesick  Bards  !   repay  her  scorn  for 
scorn : 


Ye  Artists  lovelorn!  madmen  that  je 
are  I 
Make  your  best  bow  to  her  and  bid  adiea. 
Then,  if  she  likes  it,  she  will  follow  700. 

TO   SLEEP 

O  SOFT  embalmer  of  the  still  midni^^it. 
Shutting,  with  careful  fingers  and  benign, 

Our  gloom-pleased  eyes,  embower'd  from 
the  light, 
Enshaded  in  forgetfulness  divine: 

0  soothest  Sleep !   if  so  it  please  thee, 

close. 
In  midst  of  this  thine  hymn,  my  willing 
eyes, 
Or  wait  the  amen,  ere  thy  poppy  throws 
Around  my  bed  its  dewy  charities; 
Then  save  me,  or  the  passed  day  will 
shine 
Upon  my  pillow,  breeding  many  woes; 
Save  me  from  curious  conscience,  that 
still  lords 
Its  strength  for  darkness,  burrowing  like  a 
mole; 
Turn  the  key  deftly  in  the  oiled  wards. 
And  seal  the  hushed  casket  of  my  soul. 

ODE   TO    PSYCHE 

*  The  following  poem  —  the  last  I  have  writ- 
ten —  is  the  first  and  only  one  with  which  I  have 
taken  even  moderate  pains.  I  have,  for  the 
most  part,  dashed  off  my  lines  in  a  hurry.   This 

1  have  done  leisurely  —  I  think  it  reads  the  more 
richly  for  it,  and  will  I  hope  encourage  me  to 
write  other  things  in  even  a  more  peaceable 
and  healthy  spirit.  You  must  recollect  that 
Psyche  was  not  embodied  as  a  g^dess  before 
the  time  of  Apuleius  the  Platonist,  who  lived 
after  the  Augustan  age,  and  consequently  the 
Goddess  was  never  worshipped  or  sacrificed  to 
with  any  of  the  ancient  fervour  —  and  perhaps 
never  thought  of  in  the  old  religion  —  I  am 
more  orthodox  than  to  let  a  heathen  Goddess 
be  so  neglected.*  Keats  to  his  Brother  and 
Sister,  April  30,  1810.  He  afterward  included 
the  poem  in  his  volume.  Lamia,  Itabella,  The 
Eve  of  St,  Agnes  and  other  Poemsj  1820. 


/ 


ODE  TO   PSYCHE 


H3 


0  GoiDi^ns  1  bear  these  tuneless  nambers, 

wnmg  |iu 
By  tweet  enforoement  and  remembranee 
dear,     4 
And  pardon  that  thy  seerets  should  be  sungH^ 

Even  into  thine  own  soft-conohed  ear:  fc 
Sorely  I  dreamt  to-day,  or  did  I  see  ^ 
The  winged  Psyohe  with  awaken'd  eyes  ?P( 

1  wandered  in  a  forest  tboaghtlessly,  U 
And,  on  the  sudden,  fainting  with  sur- 

pri».     OL 

Saw  two  fair  creatures,  couched  side  by  side  J 
In  deepest  grass,  beneath  the  whisp'ring 

roof  toi 

Of  leares  and  trembled  blossoms,  where 
there  ran 
A  brooklet,  scarce  espied:   < 

II 

Ifid  hosh'd,  cool-rooted  flowers  fragrant- 
eyed,  K. 
Bloe,  silyer-white,  and  budded  Tynan,  i 
Tbey  lay  calm-breathing  on  the  bedded 

Their  arms  embraced,  and  their  pinions 

too; 
Tlieir  lips  touch'd  not,  but  had  not  bade 
idieu. 
As  if  disjoined  by  soft-handed  slumber, 
And  ready  still  past  kisses  to  outnumber 
At  tender  eye-dawn  of  aurorean  love :  ao 

The  winged  boy  I  knew; 
But  who  wast  thou,0  happy,  happy  dove  ? 
His  Psyche  true  I 

III 

0  litest4N>ni  and  loveliest  vision  far 
Of  all  Olympns'  faded  hierarchy  I 

Fairsr  than  Phcsbe's  sapphire-region'd  star, 
Or  Vesper,  amorous  glow-worm  of  the 

'tter  than  these,  though  temple  thou  hast 


No  voice,  no  lute,  no  pipe,  no  incense  sweet 
From  chain-swung  censer  teeming; 

No  shrine,  no  grove,  no  oracle,  no  heat 
Of  pale-mouth'd  prophet  dreaming. 


IV 


O  brightest  I  though  too  late  for  antique 


Nor  ahar  heap'd  with  flowers; 
"^  vbgin-choir  to  make  delicious  moan 
Upon  the  midnight  hours; 


31 


vows. 


Too,  too  late  for  the  fond  believing  lyre. 
When  holy  were  the  haunted  forest  boughs. 

Holy  the  air,  the  water,  and  the  fire; 
Yet  even  in  these  days  so  far  retired        40 

From  happy  pieties,  thy  lucent  fans. 

Fluttering  among  the  faint  Olympians, 
I  see,  and  sing,  by  my  own  eyes  inspired. 
So  let  me  be  thy  choir,  and  make  a  moan 

Upon  the  midnight  hours; 
Thy  voice,  thy  lute,  thy  pipe,  thy  incense 
sweet 

From  swinged  censer  teeming; 
Thy  shrine,  thy  grove,  thy  oracle,  thy  heat 

Of  pale-mouth'd  prophet  dreaming. 


Yes,  I  will  be  thy  priest,  and  build  a  fane 
In  some  untrodden  region  of  my  mind, 
Where  branched  thoughts,  new-grown  with 
pleasant  pain,  s* 

Instead  of  pines   shall  murmur  in  the 
wind: 
Far,  far  around  shall  those  dark-cluster'd 
trees 
Fledge  the  wild-ridged  mountains  steep 
by  steep; 
And  there  by  zephyrs,  streams,  and  birds, 
and  bees. 
The  moss-lain  Dryads  shall  be  lulled  to 
sleep; 
And  in  the  midst  of  this  wide  quietness 
A  rosy  sanctuary  will  I  dress 
With  the   wreath'd  trellis   of  a   working 
brain,  60 

With  buds,  and  bells,  and  stars  without 
a  name, 
With  all  the  gardener   Fancy  e'er  could 
feign, 
Who  breeding  flowers,  will  never  breed 
the  same: 


144 


THE  POEMS   OF   1818-1819 


And  there  shall  be  for  thee  all  soft  delight 
That  shadowy  thought  can  win, 

A  bright  torch,  and   a  casement  ope  at 
night. 

To  let  the  warm  Love  in  ! 


SONNET 

In  copying  his  '  Ode  to  Psyche,'  Keats  added 
the  flonrish  *  Here  endethe  ye  Ode  to  Psyche,' 
and  went  on  *  Indpit  altera  soneta.'  *  I  haye 
been  endeayouring,'  he  writes,  *to  discoyer  a 
?  ^  better  Sonnet  Stanza  than  we  haye.  The  legiti- 
mate does  not  snit  the  language  oyer  well  from 
the  pouncing  rhymes  —  the  other  kind  appears 
too  elegiac  —  and  the  couplet  at  the  end  of  it 
has  seldom  a  pleasing  effect  —  I  do  not  pre- 
tend to  haye  succeeded  —  it  will  explain  itself/ 
The  sonnet  was  printed  in  Life^  Letters  and  Lit- 
erary Remains, 

If  by  dull  rhymes  our  English  must  be 
chained, 
And,  like  Andromeda,  the  Sonnet  sweet 
Fetter'd,  in  spite  of  pained  loveliness; 
Let  us  find  out,  if  we  must  be  constrained. 
Sandals  more  interwoven  and  complete 
To  fit  the  naked  foot  of  poesy; 
Let  us  inspect  the  lyre,  and  weigh  the 

stress 
Of  every   chord,   and   see   what  may  be 
gain'd 
By  ear  industrious,  and  attention  meet; 
Misers  of  sound  and  syllable,  no  less 
Than  Midas  of  his  coinage,  let  us  be 

Jealous  of  dead  leaves  in  the  bay-wreath 
crown: 
So,  if  we  may  not  let  the  Muse  be  free. 
She  will  be  bound  with  garlands  of  her 
own. 


ODE   TO   A   NIGHTINGALE 

First  published  in  the  July,  1819,  Annals  of 
the  Fine  Arts  and  included  in  the  1820  volume. 
It  was  composed  in  May,  1819.  In  the  Aldine 
edition  of  1876  Lord  Houghton  prefixes  this 
note:  'In  the  spring  of  1819  a  nightingale 
ibailt  her  nest  next  Mr.  Bevan's  house.    Keats 


took  great  pleasure  in  her  song,  and  one  morn- 
ing took  his  chair  from  the  breakfast  table  to 
the  grass  plot  under  a  plum  tree,  where  he 
remained  between  two  and  three  hours.  He 
then  reached  the  house  with  some  scraps  of 
paper  in  his  hand,  which  he  soon  put  together 
in  the  form  of  this  Ode.'  Haydon  in  a  letter 
to  Miss  Mitf  ord  says :  '  The  death  of  his  bro- 
ther [in  December,  1818]  wounded  him  deeply, 
and  it  appeared  to  me  trom.  that  hour  he  began 
to  droop.  He  wrote  his  exquisite  '  Ode  to  the 
Nightingale  '  at  this  time,  and  as  we  were  one 
evening  walking  in  the  Kilbum  meadows  he 
repeated  it  to  me,  before  he  put  it  to  paper,  in 
a  low,  tremulous  undertone  which  affected  me 
extremely.'  It  may  well  be  that  Tom  Keats 
was  in  the  poet's  mind  when  he  wrote  line  26. 

Mt  heart  aches,  and  a  drowsy  numbness  ! 
pains 
My  sense,  as  though  of  hemlock  I  had 
drunk. 
Or  emptied  some  dull  opiate  to  the  drains 
One  minute  past,  and  Lethe-wards  had 
sunk:  ^  e^j^  V^ ^-p*   >^ 

'T  is  not  through  envy  of  thy  happy  lot. 
But  being  too  happy  in  thine  happiness,  — 
That  thou,  light-wingej^  Dryad  of  the 
trees,     *a'*^*\  ^V^r,^  >/ .  f,/f  /-^v! 

In  some  melodious  plot  f  ^w« 

Of  beechen  green,  and  shadows  number- 
less, 
Singest  of    summer  in    full-throated 


ease. 


10 


n 


O  for  a  draught  of  vintage  !  that  hath  been 
Cool'd  a  long  age  in  the  deep-delved 
earth. 
Tasting  of  Flora  and  the  country-green, 
Dance,   and  Proven^  song,  and  sun- 
burnt mirth  I 
O  for  a  beaker  full_of  the  warm  South,    ^ 
Full  of  the  true,  the  bluahfol   Hippo- 
orene,  '  i* 

With  beaded  bQ]ibl48.jRniiking  at  the  ^ 
brim,  ^ 

And  purple-stained  moath ; 


ODE  TO   A   NIGHTINGALE 


I4S 


That  I  might  drink,  and  leave  the  world 


And  with  thee  &de  away  into  the  for- 
est dim:  .      6  Or    »o 

Fade  far  away,  dissolve,  ana  quite  forget 
What  thoa  among  the  leaves  hast  never 
known, 
The  weariness,  the  fever,  and  the  fret 
Here,  where  men  sit  and  hear  each  other 
groan; 
Where  palsy  shakes  a  few,  sad,  last  gray 
hairs. 
Where  youth  grows  pale,  and  spectre- 
thin,  and  dies; 
Where  hut  to  think  is  to  he  full  of 
sorrow 
And  leaden-eyed  despairs, 


Wherewith  the  seasonable    month  en- 
dows 
The  grass,  the  thicket,  and  the  fruit-tree 
wild; 
White  hawthorn,  and  the  pastoral  eglan- 
tine; 
Fast    fading    violets    cover'd    up    in 
leaves; 

And  mid-May's  eldest  child, 
The  coming  musk-rose,  full    of    dewy 
wine, 
The  murmurous  haunt  of  flies  on  sum- 
mer eves. 


50 


VI 


Darkling  I  listen;  and,  for  many  a  time 
I  have  been  half  in  love  with  easeful 
I  Death, 

i  Call'd  him  soft  names  in  many  a  mused 


rhyme, 
To  take  into  the  air  my  quiet  breath ; 

Or  ie'w  Love  pine  at  them  beyond  to-  I  ^ow  more  than  ever  seems  it  rich  to  die, 

To  cease   upou   the   midmght   with   no 


Where  Beauty  cannot  keep  her  lustrous 
eyes. 


morrow. 


30 


IV 

Aviy !  away  I  for  I  wiU  fly  to  thee, 

Not  charioted  by  Bacchus  and  his  pards, 
Bat  cm.  the  viewless  wings  of  Poesy, 
Thoogh  the  dull  brain  perplexes  and  re- 
tards: 
Already  with  thee !  tender  is  the  night, 
And  haply  the  Queen-Moon  is  on  her 
throne, 
J     Cinster'd  around    by  all   her    starry 

J|b^_       But  here  there  is  no  light, 
^    Save  what  from  heaven  is  with  the  breezes 
blown 


5^5 


^^W^^iroagh  vexdnrons  glooms  and  wind 
*^        ing  mossy  ways.  4 


I  cumot  see  what  flowers  are  at  my  feet, 
X<»r  what  soft  inoense  hangs  upon  the 
boo|^ 
Bat.   in  embalmed  darkness,  guess  each 


pam, 
While  thou  art  pouring  forth  thy  soul . 
(abroa^N  .    *'"•*' 

In  such  an  ecstasy  I 
Still  would  st  thou  sing,  and  I  have  ears 
.    k  >      in  vain  — 
i     .'^-iTo  thy  high  rec^uiem  become  a  sod.  60  , 
' '  ^-*; .  -   .jshir^  r  <i^  ••  '■  ■  *  p: C rJ  .,^^ .  V  A  « vt.i(,  •  v  ■-' 

V  •'    »'  VII  jfi-  ifuat 

Thou  wast  not  born  for  death,  immortal 
Bird! 
No  hungry  generations  tread  thee  down; 
The  voice  I  hear  this  passing  night  was 
heard 
In  ancient  days  by  emperor  and  clown: 
Perhaps  the  self-same  song   that  found  a 
path 
Through  the  sad  heart  of  Ruth,  when, 
sick  for  home, 
She  stood  in  tears  amid  the  alien  com; 
The  same  that  oft-times  hath 
Charm'd   magic   casements,  opening  on 
the  foam 
Of  perilous  seas,  in  faery  lands  for- 
lorn. (  10 


«»^*    Vf 


^  ^•••* 


htx 


\ 


.Ji^ 


.  \ 


^ 

..^\ 


^v»* 


'.> 


146 


THE   POEMS  OF   1818-1819 


VIII 

Forlorn  I  the  yery  word  is  like  a  bell 
To  toll  me  back  from  thee  to  my  sole 
self  I 
Adien !  the  fancy  cannot  cheat  so  well 
As  she  is  famed  to  do,  deceiving  elf. 
Adieu  I  adieu  I  thy  plaintive  anthem  fades 
Past  the  near  meadows,  over  the  still 
stream, 
Up  the  hill-side;  and  now  'tis  buried 
'.. .       deep 

In  the  next  valley-glades: 
j»  Was  it  a  vision,  or  a  waking  dream  ? 
Fled  is  that  music:  —  do  I  wake  or 
sleep  ?  80 

LAMIA 

In  the  early  summer  of  1819  Keats  felt  the 
pressure  of  want  of  money  and  determined  to 
go  into  the  country,  where  he  could  live  cheaply, 
and  devote  himself  to  writing.  He  went  ac- 
cordingly to  Shanklin,  Isle  of  Wight,  and  wrote 
thence  to  Reynolds,  July  12,  *  I  have  finished 
the  Act  [the  first  of  Otho  the  Greai]y  and  in  the 
interval  of  beg^ning  the  2nd  have  proceeded 
pretty  well  with  Lamia^  finishing  the  first  part 
which  consists  of  about  400  lines.  I  have 
great  hope  of  success  [in  this  enterprise  of 
maintenance],  because  I  make  use  of  my  judg- 
ment more  deliberately  than  I  have  yet  done.' 
He  continued  to  work  at  Lamia  in  connection 
with  the  tragedy,  completing  it  in  Aug^ust  at 
Winchester.  It  formed  the  leading  poem  in  the 
volume  Lamia^  Isabdla^  the  Eve  of  St.  Agnes 
and  other  PoemSy  published  in  1820.  Keats's 
own  judgment  of  it  is  in  his  words :  '  I  am  cer- 
tain there  is  that  sort  of  fire  in  it  which  must 
take  hold  of  people  in  some  way — give  them 
either  pleasant  or  unpleasant  association.'  He 
found  the  germ  of  the  story  in  Burton's  Anat- 
omy of  Melancholy  J  where  it  is  credited  to  Phi- 
lostratus.  The  passage  will  be  found  in  the 
Notes.  Lord  Houghton  says,  on  the  authority 
of  Brown,  that  Keats  wrote  the  poem  after 
much  study  of  Dryden's  versification. 

PART  I 

Upon  a  time,  before  the  faery  broods 
Drove  Nymph  and  Satyr  from  the  pro- 
sperous woodSy 


Before  King  Oberon's  bright  diadem. 
Sceptre,  and  mantle,  clasp'd  with  dewy  gem, 
Frighted  away  the  Dryads  and  the  Fanns 
From  rushes  green,  and  brakes,  and  eow* 

slipp'd  lawns. 
The  ever-smitten  Hermes  empty  left 
His  golden  throne,  bent  warm  on  amoioai 

theft; 
From  high  Olympus  had  he  stolen  light, 
On  this  side  of  Jove's  clouds,  to  eseape  the 

sight  M 

Of  his  great  sommoner,  and  made  retreat 
Into  a  forest  on  the  shores  of  Crete. 
For  somewhere  in  that  sacred  island  dwdl 
A  nymph,  to  whom  all  hoofed  Satyrs  kndlj 
At  whose  white  feet  the  languid  Tritooi 

poured 
Pearls,  while  on  land  they  withered  and 

adored. 
Fast  by  the  springs  where  she  to  bathe  wai 

wont. 
And  in  those  meads  where  sometimes  sb 

might  haunt, 
Were  strewn  rich  gifts,  unknown  to  anj 

Muse, 
Though  Fancy's  casket  were  unlock'd  U 

choose.  M 

Ah,  what  a  world  of  love  was  at  her  feet  t 
So  Hermes  thought,  and  a  celestial  beat 
Burnt  from  his  winged  heels  to  either  eai^ 
That  from  a  whiteness,  as  the  lily  clear, 
Blush'd  into  roses  'mid  his  golden  hair. 
Fallen  in  jealous  curls  about  his  shoolden 

bare. 

From  vale  to  vale,  from  wood  to  wood, 

he  flew. 
Breathing  upon  the  flowers  his  passion  new. 
And  wound  with  many  a  river  to  its  head, 
To  find  where  this  sweet  nymph  prepared 

her  secret  bed:  y 

In  vain;  the  sweet  nymph  might  nowhen 

be  found. 
And  so  he  rested,  on  the  lonely  ground, 
Pensive,  and  full  of  painful  jealousies 
Of  the  Wood-Gods,  and  even  the  very  trees 
There  as  he  stood,  he  heard  a  moumfu 

voice. 


L^MIA 


147 


Sueh  as  anee  heard,  in  gentle  heart,  de- 

fltrojB 
All  pain  but  pitjr:  thus  the  lone  voice  spake: 
^  When  from  this  wreathed  tomb  shall  I 

awake  1 
When  more  in  a  sweet  body  fit  for  life, 
And  loYe,  and  pleasure,  and  the  ruddy 

strife  40 

Of  hearts  and  lips  I    Ah,  miserable  me  ! ' 
The  God,  doye-footed,  glided  silently 
Round  bush  and  tree,  soft-brushing,  in  his 

speed. 
The  taller  grasses  and  full-flowering  weed, 
Uatil  he  found  a  palpitating  snake, 
Bright*  and  oirque-couchant  in  a  dusky 

brake. 

She  was  a  gordian  shape  of  dazzling  hue, 
Termilion  -  spotted,    golden,    green,    and 

blue; 
Striped  like  a  zebra,  freckled  like  a  pard, 
£jed  like  a  peacock,  and  all  crimson  barr'd ; 
And  fnll  of  silver   moons,   that,  as    she 
breathed,  5z 

Disaolved,  or    brighter    shone,   or    inter- 
wreathed 
Their   lustres   with   the    gloomier   tapes- 


80  rainbow-sided,  touch'd  with  miseries, 
She  seem'd,  at  once,  some  penanced  lady 

elf. 
Some  demon's  mistress,  or  the   demon's 

self. 
Upon  her  crest  she  wore  a  wannish  fire 
Sprinkled  with  stars,  like  Ariadne's  tiar: 
Her  head  was  terpent,  but  ah,  bitter-sweet  I 
She  had  a  woman's  mouth  with  all  its 

pearls  complete:  60 

And  for  her  eyes  —  what  could  such  eyes 

do  there 
Bat  weep,  and  weep,  that  they  were  bom 

ao&ir? 
As  Proserpine  still  weeps  for  her  Sicilian 

air. 
Her  throat  was  serpent,  but  the  words  she 

spake 
Came,   as    through    bubbling    honey,  for 

Love's  sake. 


And  thus  ;  while  Hermes  on  his  pinions  lay. 
Like  a  stoop'd  falcon  ere  he  takes  his  prey: 

*  Fair  Hermes  I  crown'd  with  feathers, 

fluttering  light, 
I  had  a  splendid  dream  of  thee  last  night: 
I  saw  thee  sitting,  on  a  throne  of  gold,     70 
Among  the  Gods,  upon  Olympus  old. 
The  only  sad  one;  for  thou  didst  not  hear 
The    soft,   lute  -  finger'd  Muses  chanting 

clear, 
Nor  even  Apollo  when  he  sang  alone. 
Deaf  to  his  throbbing  throat's  long,  long 

melodious  moan. 
I  dreamt  I  saw  thee,  robed  in  purple  flakes. 
Break    amorous  through    the    clouds,  as 

morning  breaks, 
And,  swiftly  as  a  bright  Phoebean  dart. 
Strike  for  the  Cretan  isle;  and  here  thou 

art! 
Too  gentle  Hermes,  hast  thou  found  the 

maid  ? '  80 

Whereat  the  star  of  Lethe  not  delay'd 
His  rosy  eloquence,  and  thus  inquired: 
'  Thou  smooth-lipp'd  serpent,  surely  high- 
inspired  ! 
Thou  beauteous  wreath,  with  melancholy 

eyes, 
Possess  whatever  bliss  thou  canst  devise. 
Telling  me  only  where  my  nymph  is  fled,  — 
Where  she  doth  breathe  I '   '  Bright  planet, 

thou  hast  said/ 
Retum'd  the  snake,  *  but  seal  with  oaths, 

fair  God!' 
'  I  swear,'  said  Hermes,  *  by  my  serpent  rod. 
And    by   thine   eyes,   and   by   thy   starry 

crown  ! '  90 

Light  flew  his  earnest  words,  among  the 

blossoms  blown. 
Then  thus  again  the  brilliance  feminine: 
'  Too  frail  of  heart !  for  this  lost  nymph  of 

thine. 
Free  as  the  air,  invbibly,  she  strays 
About  these  thomless  wilds;  her  pleasant 

days 
She    tastes    unseen ;   unseen    her    nimble 

feet 
Leave  traces  in  the  grass  and  flowers  aweet% 


148 


THE  POEMS   OF   1818-1819 


From  weary  tendrils,  and  bow'd  branches 

green, 
She  plucks  the  fruit  unseen,  she  bathes  un- 
seen: 
And  by  my  power  is  her  beauty  veil'd     too 
To  keep  it  unaffronted,  unassail'd 
By  the  love-glances  of  unlovely  eyes, 
Of  Satyrs,  Fauns,  and  blear'd  Silenus'  sighs. 
Pale  grew  her  immortality,  for  woe 
Of  all  these  lovers,  and  she  grieved  so 
I  took  compassion  on  her,  bade  her  steep 
Her  hair  in  weird  syrops,  that  would  keep 
Her  loveliness  invisible,  yet  free 
To  wander  as  she  loves,  in  liberty. 
Thou  shalt  behold  her,  Hermes,  thou  alone. 
If  thou  wilt,  as  thou  swearest,  grant  my 

boon!'  xii 

Then,  once  again,  the  charmed  God  began 
An  oath,  and  through  the  serpent's  ears  it 

ran 
Warm,  tremulous,  devout,  psalterian. 
Ravish'd  she  lifted  her  Circean  head, 
Blush'd  a  live  damask,  and  swift-lisping 

said, 
<  I  was  a  woman,  let  me  have  once  more 
A  woman's  shape,  and  charming  as  before. 
I  love  a  youth  of  Corinth  —  O  the  bliss  I 
Give  me  my  woman's  form,  and  place  me 

where  he  is.  120 

Stoop,  Hermes,  let  me  breathe  upon  thy 

brow, 
And  thou  shalt  see  thy  sweet  nymph  even 

now.* 
The  God  ou  half-shut  feathers  sank  serene, 
She  breathed  upon  his  eyes,  and  swift  was 

seen 
Of  both  the  guarded  nymph  near-smiling 

on  the  green. 
It  was  no  dream;  or  say  a  dream  it  was, 
Real  are  the  dreams  of  Grods,  and  smoothly 

pass 
Their  pleasures  in  a  long  immortal  dream. 
One  warm,  flush'd  moment,  hovering,  it 

might  seem 
Dash'd  by  the  wood-nymph's  beauty,  so  he 

bum'd ;  130 

Then,  lighting  on  the  printless  verdure, 

^i2j*n'd 


To  the  swoon'd  serpent,  and  with  languid 

arm, 
Delicate,  put  to  proof  the  lithe  Caducean 

charm. 
So  done,  upon  the  nymph  his  eyes  he  bent 
Full  of  adoring  tears  and  blandishment, 
And  towards  her  stept:  she,  like  a  moon  in 

wane, 
Faded  before  him,  cower'd,  nor  could  re- 
strain 
Her  fearful  sobs,  self-folding  like  a  flower 
That  faints  into  itself  at  evening  hour: 
But  the  Grod  fostering  her  chilled  hand,  140 
She  felt  the  warmth,  her  eyelids  open'd 

bland. 
And,  like  new  flowers  at  morning  song  of 

bees, 
Bloom'd,  and  gave  up  her  honey  to  the 

lees. 
Into  the  green-recessed  woods  they  flew; 
Nor  grew  they  pale,  as  mortal  lovers  do. 

Left  to  herself,  the  serpent  now  began 
To  change;  her  elfin  blood  in  madness  ran. 
Her  mouth  foam'd,  and  the  g^rass,  there-^ 

with  besprent, 
Wither'd  at  dew  so  sweet  and  virulent; 
Her  eyes    in   torture   fix'd,   and    anguish 

drear,  150 

Hot,  glazed,  and  wide,  with  lid-lashes  all 

sear, 
Flash'd  phosphor  and  sharp  sparks,  without 

one  cooling  tear. 
The  colours  all   inflamed  throughout  her 

train. 
She  writhed  about,  convulsed  with  scarlet 

pain : 
A  deep  volcanian  yellow  took  the  place 
Of  all  her  milder-mooned  body's  grace ; 
And,  as  the  lava  ravishes  the  mead. 
Spoilt  all  her  silver  mail,  and  golden  brede: 
Made  gloom  of  all  her  frecklings,  atreaks 

and  bars, 
Eclipsed  her  crescents,  and  lick'd  up  her 

stars:  i6» 

So  that,  in  moments  few,  she  was  nndrest 
Of  all  her  sapphires,  greens,  and  amethyst^ 
And  rubious-argent:  of  all  these  bereft, 


LAMIA 


149 


Nothing  bot  pftin  and  ngliness  were  left. 
Still  ahooe  Imbt  erown;  that  yanish'd,  also 

she 
Melted  and  diaappear'd  as  suddenly; 
And  in  the  air,  her  new  voioe  luting  soft, 
Cried,  'LyciusI  gentle  LycinsI'  —  Borne 

aloft 
With  the  bright  mists  about  the  mountains 

hoar 
These    words   dissolved :    Crete's    forests 

heard  no  more.  170 

Whither  fled  Lamia,  now  a  lady  bright, 
A  fnll-bom  beauty  new  and  exquisite  ? 
She  fled  into  that  yalley  they  pass  o'er 
Who  go  to  Corinth  from  Cenchreas'  shore: 
Aad  rested  at  the  foot  of  those  wild  hills, 
Tbe  nigged  founts  of  the  Penean  rills, 
Aod  of  that  other  ridge  whose  barren  back 
jkretehes,   with  all    its  mist  and  cloudy 

rack. 
South-westward    to    Cleone.      There    she 

stood  179 

About  a  yonng  bird's  flutter  from  a  wood, 
Fair,  on  a  sloping  green  of  mossy  tread, 
Bj  a  dear  pool,  wherein  she  passioned 
To  see  herself  escaped  from  so  sore  ills. 
While  her  robes  flaunted  with  the  da£Fo- 

dila. 

Ah,  happy  Lycins  I  —  for  she  was  a  maid 
3f ore  besntifnl  than  oyer  twisted  braid. 
Or  aigh'd,  or  blnsh'd,  or  on  spring-flowered 

lea 
Spread  a  green  kirtle  to  the  minstrelsy: 
A  virgin  purest  lipp'd,  yet  in  the  lore 
Of  love  deep  learned  to  the  red  heart's 


eore: 


190 


Xot  one  hour  old,  yet  of  sciential  brain 

To  onperplex  bliss  from  its  neighbour 
pain; 

Deflse  their  pettish  limits,  and  estrange 

TUr  points  of  contact,  and  swift  counter- 
change; 

latrigae  with  the  specious  chaos,  and  dis- 
part 

Its  naoat  ambiguous  atoms  with  sure  art; 

Am  thoo^  in  Cupid's  college  she  had  speut 


Sweet  days  a  lovely  graduate,  still  unshent. 
And  kept  his  rosy  terms  in  idle  languish- 
ment. 

Why  this  fair  creature  chose  so  fairily 
By  the  wayside  to  linger,  we  shall  see;   201 
But  first 't  is  fit  to  tell  how  she  could  muse 
And  dream,  when  in  the  serpent  prison- 
house. 
Of  all  she  list,  strange  or  magnificent: 
How,  ever,  where  she   will'd,  her  spirit 

went; 
Whether  to  faint  Elysium,  or  where 
Down  through  tress-lifting  waves  the  Ne- 
reids fair 
Wind  into  Thetis'  bower  by  many  a  pearly 

stair; 
Or  where  Grod  Bacchus  drains  his  cups 

divine, 
Stretch'd  out,  at  ease,  beneath  a  glutinous 
pine;  a  10 

Or  where  in  Pluto's  gardens  palatine 
Mulciber's  columns  gleam  in  far  piazzian 

line. 
And  sometimes  into  cities  she  would  send 
Her  dream,  with  feast  and  rioting  to  blend; 
And  once,  while  among  mortals  dreaming 

thus. 
She  saw  the  young  Corinthian  Lycius 
Charioting  foremost  in  the  envious  race, 
Like  a  young  Jove   with  calm    uneager 

face. 
And  fell  into  a  swooning  love  of  him.       219 
Now  on  the  moth-time  of  that  evening  dim 
He  would  return   that  way,  as   well   she 

knew. 
To  Corinth  from  the  shore;    for  freshly 

blew 
The  eastern  soft  wind,  and  his  galley  now 
Grated  the   quay-stones  with   her  brazen 

prow 
In  port  Cenchreas,  from  Egina  isle 
Fresh  anchor'd;  whither  he  had  been  awhile 
To  sacrifice  to  Jove,  whose  temple  there 
Waits  with  high  marble  doors  for  blood 

and  incense  rare. 
Jove  heard  his  vows,  and  better'd  his  de- 
sire; 


ISO 


THE  POEMS   OF   1818-1819 


For  by  some  f  reakf  ol  chance  he  made  re- 
tire 230 
From  his  companions,  and  set  forth   to 

walk, 
Perhaps  grown  wearied  of  their  Corinth 

talk: 
Over  the  solitary  hills  he  fared, 
Thoughtless  at  first,  but  ere  eve's  star  ap- 

pear'd 
His  phantasy  was  lost,  where  reason  fades, 
In  the  calm'd  twilight  of  Platonic  shades. 
Lamia    beheld    him   coming,  near,    more 

near  — 
Close  to  her  passing,  in  indifference  drear. 
His  silent  sandals  swept  the  mossy  green; 
So  neighbour'd  to  him,  and  yet  so  unseen  340 
She  stood:  he  pass'd,  shut  up  in  mysteries. 
His  mind  wrapp'd  like  his  mantle,  while 

her  eyes 
Follow'd  his  steps,   and  her  neck    regal 

white 
Turn'd  —  syllabling    thus,    *  Ah,    Lycius 

bright! 
And  will  you  leave  me  on  the  hills  alone  ? 
Lycius,  look  back!  and  be  some  pity  shown.' 
He  did;  not  with  cold  wonder  fearingly, 
But  Orpheus-like  at  an  Eurydice; 
For  so  delicious  were  the  words  she  sung, 
It  seem'd  he  had  loved  them  a  whole  sum- 
mer long:  250 
And  soon  bis  eyes  had  drunk  her  beauty 

up, 
Leaving  no  drop  in  the  bewildering  cup. 
And  still  the  cup   was  full,  —  while  he, 

afraid 
Lest  she  should  vanish  ere  his  lips  had  paid 
Due  adoration,  thus  began  to  adore; 
Her  soft  look  growing  coy,  she  saw  his 

chain  so  sure: 
'Leave  thee  alone!     Lookback!     Ah,  God- 
dess, see 
Whether  my  eyes  can  ever  turn  from  thee  ! 
For  pity  do  not  this  sad  heart  belie  — 
Even  as  thou  vanishest  so  I  shall  die.      260 
Stay  !  though  a  Naiad  of  the  rivers,  stay  I 
To  thy  far  wishes  will  thy  streams  obey: 
Stay !  though  the  greenest  woods  be  thy 
domain. 


Alone  they  can  drink  up  the  morning  rain: 
Though  a  descended  Pleiad,  will  not  one 
Of  thine  harmonious  sisters  keep  in  tune 
Thy  spheres,  and  as  thy  silver  proxy  shine  ? 
So  sweetly  to  these  ravish'd  ears  of  mine 
Came  thy  sweet  greeting,   that    if   thoa 

shouldst  fade. 
Thy  memory  will  waste  me  to  a  shade:  — 
For  pity  do  not  melt!'  —  <If  I  should 

stay,'  271 

Said  Lamia,  '  here,  upon  this  floor  of  clay, 
And  pain  my  steps  upon  these  flowers  too 

rough. 
What  canst  thou  say  or  do  of  charm  enough 
To  dull  the  nice  remembrance  of  my  home  ? 
Thou  canst  not  ask  me  with  thee  here  to 

roam 
Over  these  hills  and  vales,  where  no  joy 

is,— 
Empty  of  immortality  and  bliss  ! 
Thou  art  a  scholar,  Lycius,  and  must  know 
That  finer  spirits  cannot  breathe  below   280 
In  human  climes,  and  live:  Alas  I  poor 

youth. 
What  taste  of  purer  air  hast  thou  to  soothe 
My  essence  ?     What  serener  palaces. 
Where  I  may  all  my  niany  senses  please, 
And  by  mysterious  sleights  a  hundred  thirsts 

appease? 
It  cannot  be  —  Adieu  ! '    So  said,  she  roee 
Tiptoe  with  white  arms  spread.     He,  sick 

to  lose 
The  amorous  promise  of  her  lone  complain, 
Swoon'd  murmuring  of  love,  and  pale  with 

pain. 
The  cruel  lady,  without  any  show  290 

Of  sorrow  for  her  tender  favourite's  woe, 
But  rather,  if  her  eyes  could  brighter  be, 
With  brighter  eyes  and  slow  amenity, 
Put  her  new  lips  to  his,  and  gave  afresh 
The  life  she  had  so  tangled  in  her  mesh: 
And  as  he  from  one  trance  was  wakening 
Into  another,  she  began  to  sing, 
Happy  in  beauty,  life,  and  love,  and  every 

thing, 
A  song  of  love,  too  sweet  for  earthly  lyres. 
While,  like  held  breath,  the  stars  drew  in 

their  panting  fires.  300 


LAMIA 


151 


And  then  the  whisper'd  in  such  trembling 

tone. 
As  tlioae  who^  safe  together  met  alone 
For  the  first  time  through  many  anguish'd 

dayg. 
Use  other  speech  than  looks;  bidding  him 


Hit  drooping  head,  and  dear  his  soul  of 
donht. 

For  that  she  was  a  woman,  and  without 

Xaj  more  subtle  fluid  in  her  veins 

Than  throbbing  blood,  and  that  the  self- 
same pains 

lahftbited  her  frail-strung  heart  as  his. 

And  next  she  wonder'd  how  his  eyes  could 
mist  310 

Her  ftee  so  long  in  Corinth,  where,  she 


Sbe  dwelt  but  half  retired,  and  there  had 

led 
IkjM  happy  as  the  gold  coin  could  invent 
Withoat  the  aid  of  love;  yet  in  content 
Tin  she  saw  him,  as  once  she  pass'd  him  by, 
Where  'gainst  a  column  he  leant  thought- 
fully 
At  Venos'   temple    porch,    'mid    baskets 

heap'd 
Of  amorous  herbs  and  flowers,  newly  reap'd 
Late  on  that  eve,  as  't  was  the  night  before 
The  Adonian   feast;  whereof  she  saw  no 
more,  320 

B«t  wept  alone  those  days,  for  why  should 

ahe  adore? 
Lycns  from  death  awoke  into  amaze, 
To  see  her  still,  and  singing  so  sweet  lays; 
Then  from  amaze  into  delight  he  fell 
To  hear  her  whisper  woman's  lore  so  weU; 
And  every  word  she  spake  enticed  him  on 
To  unperplez'd  delight  and  pleasure  known. 
Let  the  mad  poets  say  whate'er  they  please 
Of  the  sweets  of  Fairies,  Peris,  Goddesses, 
There  is  not  such  a  treat  among  them 

•U,  330 

Bammten  of  eavem,  lake,  and  waterfall, 
JU  a  veal  woman,  lineal  indeed 
Frsai  PfRha's  pebbles  or  old  Adam's  seed. 

gentle    Lamia  judged,  and  judged 
right, 


That  Lycius  could  not  love  in  half  a  fright. 
So  threw  the  goddess  off,  and  won  his  heart 
More  pleasantly  by  playing  woman's  part. 
With  no  more  awe  than  what  her  beauty 

gave, 
That,  while  it  smote,  still  guaranteed  to 

save. 
Lycius  to  all  made  eloquent  reply,  340 

Marrying  to  every  word  a  twin-bom  sigh: 
And  last,  pointing  to  Corinth,  ask'd  her 

sweet, 
If  't  was  too  far  that  night  for  her  soft 

feet. 
The  way  was  short,  for  Lamia's  eagerness 
Made,  by  a  spell,  the  triple  league  decrease 
To  a  few  paces;  not  at  all  surmised 
By  blinded  Lycius,  so  in  her  comprised: 
They  pass'd  the  city  gates,  he  knew  not  how, 
So  noiseless,  and  he  never  thought  to  know. 

As  men  talk  in  a  dream,  so  Corinth  all,  350 
Throughout  her  palaces  imperial. 
And  all  her  populous  streets  and  temples 

lewd, 
Mutter'd,  like    tempest    in  the    distance 

brew'd. 
To   the    wide-spreaded    night  above    her 

towers. 
Men,  women,  rich  and  poor,  in  the  cool 

hours, 
Shuffled  their  sandals  o'er  the  pavement 

white, 
Companion'd  or  alone ;  while  many  a  light 
Flared,  here  and  there,  from  wealthy  festi- 
vals, 
And  threw  their  moving  shadows  on   the 

waUs, 
Or  found  them  duster'd  in  the  corniced 

shade  360 

Of  some    arch'd  temple   door,   or  dusky 

colonnade. 

Muffling  his  face,  of  greeting  friends  in 

fear, 
Her  fingers  he  press'd  hard,  as  one  came 

near 
With  curl'd  gray  beard,  sharp  eyes,  ami 

smooth  bald  crown. 


152 


THE  POEMS   OF   1818-1819 


Slow-stepp'd,    and    robed   in    philosophio 

gown: 
Lycius    shrank    closer,  as  they  met  and 

past, 
Into  his  mantle,  adding  wings  to  haste, 
While  hurried  Lamia  trembled:  <  Ah,'  said 

he, 
*  Why  do  you  shudder,  love,  so  ruefully  ? 
Why  does  your  tender  palm  dissolve  in 

dew?' —  370 

^I'm  wearied,'  said  fair  Lamia:  'tell  me 

who 
Is  that  old  man  ?     I  cannot  bring  to  mind 
His  features:  —  Lycius !  wherefore  did  you 

blind 
Yourself  from  his  quick  eyes  ? '     Lycius 

replied, 
'  'T  is  ApoUonius  sage,  my  trusty  guide 
And  good  instructor;  but  to-night  he  seems 
The    ghost  of  folly  haunting    my  sweet 

dreams.' 

While  yet  he  spake  they  had  arrived 

before 
A  pillar'd  porch,  with  lofty  portal  door. 
Where  hung  a  silver  lamp,  whose  phosphor 

glow  380 

Reflected  in  the  slabbed  steps  below, 
Mild  as  a  star  in  water;  for  so  new 
And  so  unsullied  was  the  marble  hue. 
So  through  the  crystal  polish,  liquid  fine, 
Ran  the   dark  veins,  that  none   but  feet 

divine 
Could  e'er  have  touch'd  there.     Sounds 

JEolian 
Breathed  from  the  hinges,  as  the  ample 

span 
Of  the  wide  doors  disclosed  a  place  un- 
known 
Some  time  to  any,  but  those  two  alone. 
And  a  few  Persian  mutes,  who  that  same 

year  390 

Were  seen  about  the  markets:  none  knew 

where 
They  could  inhabit;  the  most  curious 
Were  foil'd,  who  watch' d  to  trace  them  to 

their  house: 
And  but  the  flitter-winged  verse  must  tell. 


For  truth's  sake,  what  woe  afterwards 
befell, 

'T  would  humour  many  a  heart  to  leave 
them  thus, 

Shut  from  the  busy  world  of  more  incredu- 
lous. 

PART  n 

Love  in  a  hut,  with  water  and  a  crust. 
Is  —  Love,   forgive  us !  —  cinders,   ashes, 

dust; 
Love  in  a  palace  is  perhaps  at  last 
More  grievous  torment  than  a    hermit's 

fast: — 
That  is  a  doubtful  tale  from  faery  land. 
Hard  for  the  non-elect  to  understand. 
Had  Lycius  lived  to  hand  his  story  down. 
He  might  have  given  the  moral  a  fresh 

frown. 
Or  clench'd   it  quite:    but  too  short  was 

their  bliss 
To  breed  distrust  and  hate,  that  make  the 

soft  voice  hiss.  10 

Besides,  there,  nightly,  with  terrific  glare. 
Love,  jealous  grown  of  so  complete  a  pair, 
Hover*d  and  buzz'd  his  wings,  with  fearful 

roar. 
Above  the  lintel  of  their  chamber  door, 
And  down  the  passage  cast  a  glow  upon 

the  floor. 

For  all  this  came  a  ruin:  side  by  side 
They  were  enthroned,  in  the  even  tide. 
Upon  a  couch,  near  to  a  curtaining 
Whose  airy  texture,  from  a  golden  siring, 
Floated  into  the  room,  and  let  appear       ao 
Unveil'd  the  sununer   heaven,  blue    and 

clear. 
Betwixt  two  marble  shafts:  —  there  they 

reposed. 
Where  use  had  made  it  sweet,  with  eyelids 

closed. 
Saving  a  tithe  which  love  still  open  kept. 
That  they  might  see  each  other  while  ^btef 

almost  slept; 
When  from  the  slope   side  of  a  saboill 

hill. 


LAMIA 


153 


Deafening  tba  •wallow'i  twitter,  came  a 

thriU 
Of  tmmpett  —  Lyeiiia  started  —  the  sounds 

fled. 
Bat  left  a  thoaght,  a  buzzing  in  his  head. 
For  the  first  time,  since  first  he  harbour'd 
in  30 

That  porple-lined  pahice  of  sweet  sin, 
His  spirit  pass'd  beyond  its  golden  bourn 
Into  the  noisy  world  almost  forsworn. 
The  lady,  ever  watchful,  penetrant, 
^w  this  with  pain,  so  arguing  a  want 
Of  something  more,  more  than  her  empery 
Of  joys;  and  she  began  to  moan  and  sigh 
Beeaose  he  mused  beyond  her,  knowing  well 
Thst  but  a  moment's  thought  is  passion's 

passing  bell. 
'Why  do  yoo  sigh,  fair  creature  ? '  whis- 
pered he:  40 
'Why  do  yon  think?'  retum'd  she  ten- 
derly: 
'Tou  haye  deserted  me;  —  where  am  I 

now? 
Xot  in  your  heart  while  care  weighs  on 

your  brow: 
5a,  ao^  you  haye  dismiss'd  me;  and  I  go 
FfOBi  your  breast  houseless:  aye,  it  must  be 


Hs  aaswer'd,  bending  to  her  open  eyes. 
Where  he  was  mirror'd  smaU  in  paradise, 
*Mj  sQyer  planet,  both  of  eye  and  mom  I 
Why  will  you  plead  yourself  so  sad  forlorn. 
While  I  am  striying  how  to  fill  my  heart  50 
With  deeper  crimson,  and  a  double  smart  ? 
How  to  entamrle,  trammel  up  and  snare 
Tir  M.1    hf  ^ne.  and    Ubyrinth   jon 


Ubb  the  hid  scent  in  an  unbudded  rose  ? 
Aye,  a  sweet  kiss  —  you  see  your  mighty 


My  thoughts  I  shall  I  unyeil  them  ?    Lis- 
ten then  I 
What  mortal  hath  a  prize,  that  other  men 
Msy  be  eonfooiided  and  abash'd  withal, 
III  kta  it  aooietimes  pace  abroad  majes- 


in  thee  I  should  rejoice  60 
alarm  of  Corinth's  yoice. 


M  IWHiph, 

the 


I 


Let  my  foes  choke,  aud  my  friends  shout 

afar. 
While  through  the  thronged  streets  your 

bridal  car 
Wheels  round  its  dazzling  spokes.'  —  The 

lady's  cheek 
Trembled;  she  nothing  said,  but,  pale  and 

meek. 
Arose  and  knelt  before  him,  wept  a  rain 
Of    sorrows  at  his   words ;  at  last   with 

pain 
Beseeching  him,  the  while  his  hand  she 

wrung. 
To  change  his  purpose.    He  thereat  was 

stung, 
Peryerse,  with  stronger  fancy  to  reclaim  70 
Her  wild  and  timid  nature  to  his  aim; 
Besides,  for  all  his  loye,  in  self  despite. 
Against  his  better  self,  he  took  delight 
Luxurious  in  her  sorrows,  soft  and  new. 
His  passion,  cruel  g^wn,  took  on  a  hue 
Fierce  and  sanguineous  as  't  was  possible 
In  one  whose  brow  had  no  dark  yeins  to 

swell. 
Fine  was  the  mitigated  fury,  like 
Apollo's  presence  when  in  act  to  strike 
The  serpent  —  Ha  !   the  serpent !  certes, 

she  80 

Was    none.      She    burnt,    she  loyed   the 

tyranny. 
And,  all  subdued,  consented  to  the  hour 
When  to  the  bridal  be  should  lead  his  par- 
amour. 
Whispering  in  midnight  silence,  said  the 

youth, 
'  Sure  some  sweet  name  thou  hast,  though, 

by  my  truth, 
I  haye  not  ask'd  it,  eyer  thinking  thee 
Not  mortal,  but  of  heayenly  progeny, 
As  still  I  do.     Hast  any  mortal  name, 
Fit  appellation  for  this  dazzling  frame  ? 
Or  friends  or  kinsfolk  on  the  citied  earth, 
To  share  our  marriage  feast  aud  nuptial 

mirth  ? '  91 

'  I  haye  no  friends,'  said  Lamia, '  no,  not 

one; 
My  presence  in  wide  Corinth  hardly  known: 
My  parents'  bones  are  in  their  dusty  urns 


154 


THE  POEMS  OF   1818-1819 


Sepulchred,    where    no    kindled    incense 

bornsi 
Seeing  all  their  Inokless  race  are  dead, 

save  me, 
And  I  neglect  the  holy  rite  for  thee. 
Even  as  you  list  invite  your  many  guests; 
But  if,  as  now  it  seems,  your  vision  rests 
With  any  pleasure  on  me,  do  not  bid       100 
Old  ApoUonius  —  from  him  keep  me  hid.' 
Lycius,  perplex'd  at  words  so  blind  and 

blank, 
Made  close  inquiry;  from  whose  touch  she 

shrank, 
Feigning  a  sleep;  and  he  to  the  dull  shade 
Of  deep  sleep  in  a  moment  was  betrayed. 

It  was  the  custom  then  to  bring  away 
The  bride  from  home  at  blushing  shut  of 

day, 
Veil'd,  in  a  chariot,  heralded  along 
By  strewn  flowers,  torches,  and  a  marriage 

song. 
With  other  pageants:    but  this  fair  un- 
known no 
Had  not  a  friend.     So  being  left  alone, 
(Lycius  was  g^ne  to  summon  all  his  kin,) 
And  knowing  surely  she  could  never  win 
His  foolish  heart  from  its  mad  pompous- 

ness. 
She   set  herself,  high-thoughted,  how  to 

dress 
The  misery  in  fit  magnificence. 
She   did   so,    but   'tis  doubtful   how  and 

whence 
Came,  and  who  were  her  subtle  servitors. 
About  the  halls,  and  to  and  from  the  doors. 
There  was  a  noise  of  wings,  till  in  short 

space  120 

The   glowing  banquet -room    shone   with 

wide-arched  grace. 
A  haunting  music,  sole  perhaps  and  lone 
Supportress  of  the  faery-roof,  made  moan 
Throughout,  as   fearful   the  whole  charm 

might  fade. 
Fresh  carved  cedar,  mimicking  a  glade 
Of  palm  and  plantain,  met  from  either  side. 
High  in  the  midst,  in  honour  of  the  bride: 
TiF£>/>alms  and  then  two  plantains,  and  so  on. 


From  either  side  their  stems  branch'd  one 

to  one 
All  down  the  aisled  place;  and  beneath  all 
There  ran  a  stream  of  lamps  stn^ght  on 

from  waU  to  wall.  131 

So  canopied,  lay  an  untasted  feast 
Teeming  with  odours.    Lamia,  regal  drest. 
Silently  paced  about,  and  as  she  went, 
In  pale  contented  sort  of  discontent, 
Mission'd  her  viewless  servants  to  enrich 
The  fretted  splendour  of  each  nook  and 

niche. 
Between  the  tree-stems,  marbled  plain  at 

first. 
Came  jasper  panels;  then, anon,  there  bust 
Forth  creeping  imagery  of  slighter  trees,  140 
And  with  the  larger  wove  in  small  intrica- 
cies. 
Approving  all,  she  faded  at  self-will. 
And  shut  the  chamber  up,  close,  hnsh'd 

and  still. 
Complete  and  ready  for  the  revels  rude. 
When  dreadful  guests  would  come  to  spofl 

her  solitude. 

The  day  appear'd,  and  aU  the  gossip 

rout. 
O  senseless  Lycius  I    Madman  I  wherefoiv 

flout 
The  silent-blessing  fate,  warm  cloistered 

hours. 
And  show  to  common  eyes  these  seeni 

bowers? 
The  herd  approach'd;  each  guest,  withboiy 

brain,  ijt 

Arriving  at  the  portal,  gazed  amain. 
And  enter'd  marvelling:  for  they  knew  the 

street, 
Remember'd  it  from  childhood  all  complete 
Without  a  gap,  yet  ne'er  before  had  seen 
That  royal  porch,  that  high-built  iait  de» 

mesne; 
So  in  they  hurried  all,  mazed,  ourtous  aai 

keen: 
Save  one,  who  looked  thereon  with  eye  M» 

vere. 
And  with  calm-planted  steps  walk'd  in 

tere: 


LAMIA 


^55 


Twas    ApoUonius:     something     too    he 

laagh'd. 
At  tboagh  some  knotty  problem,  that  had 

daft  i6o 

Hit  patient  thooght,  had  now  begun  to 

thaw. 
And  stAre  and  melt:  —  'twas  just  as  he 


He  met  within  the  murmurous  vestibule 
His  yoong  disciple.   *  T  is  no  common  rule, 
Ljeios,'  said  he, '  for  uninvited  guest 
To  force  himself  upon  you,  and  infest 
With  an  unbidden    presence    the    bright 

throng 
Of  yoonger  friends;  yet  must  I  do  this 


And  yon  forgive  me.'  Lycius  blush'd,  and 
led 

The  old  man  through  the  inner  doors  broad- 
spread;  170 

With  reconciling  words  and  courteous  mien 

Tming  into  sweet  milk  the  sophist's 
spleen. 

Of  wealthy  lustre  was  the  banquet-room, 
FiU'd  with  pervading  brilliance  and  per- 

fame: 
Before  each  lucid  panel  fuming  stood 
A  ccBser  fed  with  myrrh  and  spiced  wood. 
Each  by  a  sacred  tripod  held  aloft, 
Whoae  slender  feet  wide-swerved  upon  the 

soft 
Wool- woof ed  carpets:    fifty  wreaths  of 

smdce 
From  fifty  censers  their  light  voyage  took 
To  tke  Ugh  roof,  still  mimick'd  as  they 

rose  181 

Mkmg  the   mirror'd  walls  by  twin-clouds 

odorous. 
Twahre  sphered  tables,  by  silk  seats  in- 

spher'd, 
Higk  as  the  level  of  a  man's  breast  rear'd 
Oa  fibbaid's  paws,  upheld  the  heavy  gold 
Of  espa  and  goUets,  and  the  store  thrice  told 
Of  Ceres*  horn,  and,  in  huge  vessels,  wine 

frain  the  gloomy  tun  with  merry 


Thus  loaded  with  a  feast  the  tables  stood, 
Each  shrining  in  the  midst  the  image  of  a 
God.  190 

When  in  an  antechamber  every  guest 
Had  felt  the  cold  full  sponge  to  pleasure 

press'd, 
By  ministering  slaves,  upon  his  hands  and 

feet. 
And  fragrant  oils  with  ceremony  meet 
Pour'd  on  his  hair,  they  all  moved  to  the 

feast 
In  white  robes,  and  themselves  in  order 

placed 
Around  the  silken  couches,  wondering 
Whence  all  this  mighty  cost  and  blaze  of 

wealth  could  spring. 

Soft  went  the  music  the  soft  air  along, 
While  fluent  Greek  a  vowel'd  under-song 
Kept  up  among   the   guests,   discoursing 

low  201 

At  first,  for  scarcely  was  the  wine  at  flow; 
But  when  the  happy  vintage  touch'd  their 

brains. 
Louder  they  talk,  and  louder  come  the 

strains 
Of  powerful  instruments:  —  the  gorgeous 

dyes, 
The  space,  the  splendour  of  the  draperies. 
The  roof  of  awful  richness,  nectarous  cheer, 
Beautiful  slaves,  and  Lamia*s  self,  appear. 
Now,  when   the   wine   has  done   its   rosy 

deed, 
And    every   soul   from    himian   trammels 

freed,  310 

No  more  so  strange;  for  merry  wine,  sweet 

wine, 
Will  make  Elysian  shades  not  too  fair,  too 

divine. 
Soon  was  God  Bacchus  at  meridian  height; 
Flush'd  were  their  cheeks,  and  bright  eyes 

double  bright: 
Grarlands  of  every  green,  and  every  scent 
From   vales    deflower'd,   or    forest  -  trees 

branch-rent. 
In  baskets  of    bright  osier'd  gold  were 

brought 


156 


THE  POEMS  OF   1818-1819 


High  as  the  handles  heap'd,  to  suit  the 

thought 
Of  every  guest:  that  each,  as  he  did  please, 
Might  fancy-fit  his  brows,  silk-pillow'd  at 


his  ease. 


aao 


What  wreath  for  Lamia  ?   What  for  Ly- 

cius? 
What  for  the  sage,  old  Apollonius  ? 
Upon  her  aching  forehead  be  there  hung 
The  leaves  of  willow  and  of  adder's  tongue; 
And  for  the  youth,  quick,  let  us  strip  for 

him 
The  thyrsus,  that  his  watching  eyes  may 

swim 
Into  forgetfulness;  and,  for  the  sage. 
Let  spear-grass  and  the  spiteful  tlustle 

wage 
War  on  his  temples.     Do  not  all  charms  fly 
At  the  mere  touch  of  cold  philosophy  ?   ajo 
There  was    an    awful    rainbow    once    in 

heaven: 
We  know  her  woof,  her  texture;  she  is 

given 
In  the  dull  catalogue  of  common  things. 
Philosophy  will  clip  an  Angel's  wings, 
Conquer  all  mysteries  by  rule  and  line. 
Empty  the  haunted  air,  and  gnomed  mine  — 
Unweave  a  rainbow,  as  it  erewhile  made 
The  tender-person'd   Lamia  melt   into  a 

shade. 

By  her  glad  Lycius  sitting,  in  chief  place, 
Scarce  saw  in  all  the  room  another  face,  340 
Till,  checking  his  love  trance,  a  cup  he 

took 
Full  brirom'd,  and  opposite  sent  forth  a 

look 
'Cross  the  broad  table,  to  beseech  a  glance 
From   his   old   teacher's  wrinkled  counte- 
nance. 
And  pledge  him.     The  bald-head  philoso- 
pher 
Had  fiz'd  his  eye,  without  a  twinkle  or 

stir. 
Full  on  the  alarmed  beauty  of  the  bride. 
Brow-beating  her  fair  form,  and  troubling 
her  sweet  pride. 


Lycius  then  press'd  her  hand,  with  devout 

touch, 
As  pale  it  lay  upon  the  rosy  couch:  250 

'T  was  icy,  and  the  cold  ran  through  his 

veins; 
Then  sudden  it  grew  hot,  and  all  the  pains 
Of  an  unnatural  heat  shot  to  his  heart. 

*  Lamia,  what  means  this  ?  Wherefore  dost 

thou  start  ? 
Know'st  thou  that  man  ? '  Poor  Lamia  an- 

swer'd  not. 
He  gazed  into  her  eyes,  and  not  a  jot 
Own'd  they  the  lovelorn  piteous  appeal: 
More,   more  he  gazed:  his  human  senses 

reel: 
Some  hungry  spell  that  loveliness  absorbs: 
There  was  no  recognition  in  those  orbs.  a6Q 

*  Lamia  I '   he  cried  —  and  no  soft-toned 

reply. 
The  many  heard,  and  the  loud  revelry 
Grew  hush:    the  stately  music  no   more 

breathes; 
The  myrtle  sicken'd  in  a  thousand  wreaths. 
By  faint  degrees,  voice,  lute,  and  pleasure 

ceased; 
A  deadly  silence  step  by  step  increased. 
Until  it  seem'd  a  horrid  presence  there. 
And  not  a  man  but  felt  the  terror  in  his 

hair. 
'Lamia  I'  he  shriek'd;   and   nothing*  but 

the  shriek 
With  its  sad  echo  did  the  silence  break.  170 

*  Begone,  foul  dream  I '   he  cried,  gazing 

again 
In  the  bride's  face,  where  now  no  azure 

vein 
Wander'd  on  fair-spaced  temples;  no  soft 

bloom 
Misted  the  cheek;  no  passion  to  illume 
The  deep-recessed  vision: — all  was  blight; 
Lamia,  no  longer  fair,  there  sat  a  deadly 

white. 
'  Shut,  shut  those  juggling  eyes,  thou  ruth* 

less  man  I 
Turn  them  aside,  wretch  !  or  the  righteous 

ban 
Of  all  the  Gods,  whose  dreadful  images 
Here  represent  their  shadowy  presences, 


LAMIA 


157 


May  pieree  them  <m  the  sadden  with  the 

thorn  a8i 

Of  painfnl  Mindness  ;  leaving  thee  for- 

lOflly 

In  tremUiog  dotage  to  the  feeblest  fright 
Of   eonscienee,   for    their    long -offended 

mi^t, 
For  all  thine  impious  prond-heart  sophis- 
tries, 
Uolawfol  magic,  and  enticing  lies. 
Corinthians!    look  upon  that  gray-beard 

wretch ! 
3Xa^  how,  possess'd,  his  lashless  eyelids 

stretch 
Arowid  his  demon  eyes  I  Corinthians,  see  ! 
My  sweet  bride  withers  at  their  potency.'  290 
*  Fool ! '  said  the  sophist,  in  an  under-tone 
Graff  with  contempt;  which  a  death-nigh- 

iog  moan 
From  Lycins  answer'd,  as  heart-struck  and 

lost. 
He  sink  supine  beside  the  aching  ghost. 
*Foq1  !  Fool  I'  repeated  he,  while  his  eyes 

stiU 


Relented  not,  nor  moved;  'from  every  ill 
Of  life  have  I  preserved  thee  to  this  day, 
And  shall   I  see  thee  made  a  serpent's 

prey?' 
Then  Lamia  breathed  death  breath;    the 

sophist's  eye, 
Like  a  sharp  spear,  went  through  her  ut- 
terly, 300 
Keen,  cruel,  perceant,  stinging:    she,  as 

well 
As  her  weak  hand  could  any  meaning  tell, 
Motion'd  him  to  be  silent;  vainly  so. 
He  look'd  and  look'd  again  a  level  —  No  I 
'  A  serpent ! '  echoed  he;  no  sooner  said. 
Than  with  a  frightful  scream  she  vanished: 
And  Lycius'  arms  were  empty  of  delight. 
As  were  his  limbs  of  life,  from  that  same 

night. 
On  the  high  couch  he  lay  I  —  his  friends 

came  round  — 
Supported  him  —  no  pulse  or  breath  they 

found,  310 

And,  in  its  marriage  robe,  the  heavy  body 

wound. 


DRAMAS 


OTHO  THE   GREAT 

A   TRAGEDY  IN  FIVE   ACTS 

When  Keats  went  to  the  Isle  of  Wight  in 
the  early  summer  of  1819,  it  was  with  the  de- 
termination to  make  his  literary  powers  yield 
him  a  support,  and  the  theatre,  which  he  knew 
well,  offered  the  surest  means,  in  his  judg- 
ibent,  for  an  immediate  return.  There  was, 
indeed,  something  of  a  literary  reyiyal  of  the 
drama  at  this  time,  and  EeatB  had  often  dis- 
cussed with  his  friends  the  merits  of  plays  then 
before  the  public,  and  especially  the  character 
of  Kean's  acting.  They  were  rather  skeptical 
of  Keats's  ability  to  produce  a  successful  play, 
and  their  doubts  had  some  good  basis,  if  we 
may  judge  from  the  account  which  Charles 
Armitage  Brown  gives  of  Keats's  mode  of  com- 
position. Lord  Houghton  quotes  the  following 
from  a  manuscript  by  Brown,  who  was  KeatB^s 
companion  at  Shanklin :  *  At  Shanklin  he  un- 
dertook a  difficult  task :  I  engaged  to  furnish 
him  with  the  title,  characters  and  dramatic 
conduct  of  a  tragedy,  and  he  was  to  enwrap  it 
in  poetry.  The  prog^ress  of  this  work  was  curi- 
ous, for  while  I  sat  opposite  to  him,  he  caught 
my  description  of  each  scene  entire,  with  the 
characters  to  be  brought  forward,  the  eventB, 
and  everything  connected  with  it.  Thus  he 
went  on,  scene  after  scene,  never  knowing  nor 
enquiring  into  the  scene  which  was  to  follow, 
until  four  acts  were  completed.  It  was  then 
he  required  to  know  at  once  all  the  events  that 
were  to  occupy  the  fifth  act ;  I  explained  them 
to  him,  but,  after  a  patient  hearing  and  some 
thought,  he  insisted  that  many  incidents  in  it 
were  too  humorous,  or,  as  he  termed  them,  too 
melodramatic.  He  wrote  the  fifth  act  in  ac- 
cordance with  his  own  views,  and  so  contented 
was  I  with  his  poetry  that  at  the  time,  and  for  a 
long  time  after,  I  thought  he  was  in  the  right.' 

Keats  himself  says  little  of  the  tragedy,  ex- 
cept as  a  piece  of  work  solely  designed  for  pro- 


158 


fit.  '  Brown  and  I,'  he  writes  to  John  Taylor, 
his  pubHsher,  'have  together  been  engaged 
(this  I  should  wish  to  remain  secret)  on  a  Tra- 
gedy which  I  have  just  finished  and  from 
which  we  hope  to  share  moderate  profits.  .  .  . 
I  feel  every  confidence  that,  if  I  choose,  I  may 
be  a  popular  writer.  That  I  will  never  be; 
but  for  all  that  I  will  get  a  livelihood.'  He 
wrote  shortly  after  to  the  same  friend :  '  Brown 
likes  the  tragedy  very  much.  But  he  is  not  a 
fit  judge  of  it,  as  I  have  only  acted  as  midwife 
to  his  plot ;  and  of  course  he  will  be  fond  of 
his  child.'  The  money  to  be  got  from  the 
tragedy  was  uppermost  in  his  mind  when  he 
wrote  to  his  brother  (George,  who  shared  his 
pecuniary  difficulties :  ^  We  are  certainly  in  a 
very  low  estate  —  I  say  we,  for  I  am  in  such  a 
situation,  that  were  it  not  for  the  assistance  of 
Brown  and  Taylor,  I  mu8t.be  as  badly  off  as  a 
man  can  be.  I  could  not  raise  any  sum  by  the 
promise  of  any  poem,  no,  not  by  the  mortgage 
of  my  intellect.  We  must  wait  a  little  while. 
I  really  have  hopes  of  success.  I  have  finished 
a  tragedy,  which  if  it  succeeds  will  enable  me 
to  sell  what  I  may  have  in  manuscript  to  a 
good  advantage.  I  have  passed  my  time  in 
reading,  writing,  and  fretting  —  the  last  I  in- 
tend to  give  up,  and  stick  to  the  other  two. 
They  are  the  only  chances  of  benefit  to  us.  .  .  . 
Take  matters  as  coolly  as  you  can ;  and  confi- 
dently expecting  help  from  England,  act  as  if 
no  help  were  nigh.  Mine,  I  am  sure,  is  a  tol- 
erable tragedy ;  it  would  have  been  a  bank  to 
me,  if  just  as  I  had  finished  it,  I  had  not  heard 
of  Kean's  resolution  to  g^  to  America.  That 
was  the  worst  news  I  could  have  had.  There 
is  no  actor  can  do  the  principal  character  be- 
sides Kean.  At  Govent  Gku^en  there  is  a  great 
chance  of  its  being  damn'd.  Were  it  to  suc- 
ceed even  there  it  would  lift  me  out  of  the 
mire;  I  mean  the  mire  of  a  bad  reputation 
which  is  continually  rising  against  me.  My 
name  with  the  literary  fashionables  is  vulgar. 
I  am  a  weaver-boy  to  them.    A  tragedy  would 


SCENE  I 


OTHO  THE  GREAT 


159 


lift  me  out  of  this  mefls,  mad  mess  it  is  as  far 
u  regards  our  pockets.' 

Keats  eontiniied  to  pin  his  faith  on  Kean. 
*  The  report  seems  now,*  he  writes  to  the  same, 
September  27,  *  more  in  favour  of  Kean's  stop- 
ping in  England.  If  he  should  I  have  confi- 
dent hopes  of  oar  tragedy.  If  he  invokes  the 
hot-Uooded  character  of  Ludolph,  — and  he  ia 
the  only  actor  that  can  do  it,  —  he  will  add  to 


his  own  fame  and  improve  my  fortune.*  Keats 
waited  with  slowly  ebbing  hopes.  Elliston 
read  it,  but  wished  to  put  it  off  till  another 
season.  '  Perhaps,'  KeatB  writes  in  December, 
*  we  may  give  it  another  furbish,  and  try  it  at 
Covent  Gktrden.  'T  would  do  one's  heart  good 
to  see  Macready  in  Ludolph.'  But  the  play 
never  was  acted  at  either  Drury  Lane  or  Co- 
vent  Garden. 


OTHO   THE   GREAT 


DRAMATIS  PERSONA 


OsaAT,  Emperor  0/  Oermcmy. 
Lntouni,  kit  Son. 
CoBBAi),  Duke  of  Fnmeonia. 

r,  a  Knight^  favoured  by  Otho. 

Officer^  friend  of  Ludolph. 

Offlcert. 


Abbot. 

tattA,  Prince  of  Hunffory. 
AnHtmgarian  Captain. 
Pkgeteian. 
Fage, 

NMee^  Knighte,  AttendanU,  and  Soldier*. 
*■— "^t  Sieee  of  Otho. 
ivtAann,  Conrad's  Sister. 
Luitea  and  Attendants. 

m.^Tke  Castle  of  Friedbwrg^  iU  vicinity,  and 
the  Hunifarian  Camp, 
TtMM.  —  One  Day. 


ACT   1 
ScESCE  I.  —  Ah  Apartment  in  the  Castle 

Enter  Conrad. 

Cmrad.  So,  I  am  safe  emerged   from 
these  broils! 
^ind  Uie  wreck  of  thousands  I  am  whole; 
^w  every  crime  I  have  a  laurel- wreath, 
«Wcverj  lie  a  lordship.     Nor  yet  has 
^7*^  of  fortune  farl'd  her  silken  sails,  — 
^  Wff  glide  on  I    This  danger'd  neck  is 

saved, 
^dsiteroas  policy,  from  the  rebel's  axe; 
^of  my  ducal  palace  not  one  stone 
■Wiisud  by  the  Hungarian  petards. 
I«l  bird,  ye  slayes,  and  from  the  miser- 
ssrth  10 

*^C  forth  once  more  my  bullion,  trea- 
■iieddeep, 


With  all  my  jewel'd  salvers,  silver  and 

gold. 
And  precious  goblets  that  make  rich  the 

wine. 
Bat  why  do  I  stand  babbling  to  myself  ? 
Where  is  Auranthe?     I  have  news  for 

her 
Shall  — 

Enter  Auranthe. 

Auranthe.  Conrad  I  what  tidings  ?  Good, 
if  I  may  guess 
From  your  alert  eyes  and  high-lifted  brows. 
What  tidings  of  the  battle  ?    Albert?    Lu- 
dolph ?     Otho  ? 
Conrad,  You  guess  aright.     And,  sister, 
slurring  o'er 
Our  by-gone  quarrels,  I  confess  my  heart 
Is  beating  with  a  child's  anxiety,  ai 

To  make    our  golden   fortune   known  to 
you. 
Auranthe,  So  serious  ? 
Conrad,  Yes,  so  serious,  that  before 

I  utter  even  the  shadow  of  a  hint 
Concerning  what  will  make  that  sin- worn 

cheek 
Blush  joyous  blood  through  every  linea- 
ment. 
You  must  make  here  a  solemn  vow  to 
me. 
Auranthe,   I  pr'ythee,   Conrad,   do    not 
overact 
The  hypocrite.     What  vow  would  you  im- 
pose? 
Conrad,  Trust  me  for  once.     That  you 
.    may  be  assured  30 

'T  is  not  confiding  to  a  broken  reed, 
A  poor  court-bankrupt,  outwitted  and  lost, 


i6o 


DRAMAS 


ACT  I 


Reyolire  these  facts  in  your  acatest  mood, 
In  such  a  mood  as  now  you  listen  to  me:  — 
A  few  days  since,  I  was  an  open  rebel,  — 
Against  the  Emperor,  had  subom'd  his 

son,  — 
Drawn    off    his    nobles    to  revolt,  —  and 

shown 
Contented  fools  causes  for  discontent, 
Fresh  hatched  in  my  ambition's  eagle-nest; 
So  thrived  I  as  a  rebel,  —  and,  behold  I     40 
Now  I  am  Otho's  favourite,  his  dear  friend, 
His  right  hand,  his  brave  Conrad. 

Aiaranthe.  I  confess 

You  have  intrigued  with  these  unsteady 

times 
To  admiration;  but  to  be  a  favourite  — 
Conrad.  I  saw  my  moment.     The  Hun- 
garians, 
Collected  silently  in  holes  and  comers, 
Appear'd,  a  sudden  host,  in  the  open  day. 
I  should   have    perish'd  in  our  empire's 

wreck, 
But,  calling  interest  loyalty,  swore  faith 
To  most  believing  Otho;  and  so  help'd     so 
His  blood-stain'd  ensigns  to  the  victory 
In  yesterday's  hard  fight,  that  it  has  tum'd 
The  edge  of  his  sharp  wrath  to  eager  kind- 
ness. 
Auranthe,  So  far  yourself.     But  what  is 
this  to  me 
More  than  that  I  am  glad?     I  gratulate 
you. 
Conrad,  Yes,  sister,  but  it  does  regard 
you  greatly. 
Nearly,  momentously,  —  aye,  painfully  I 
Make  me  this  vow  — 

Auranthe,      Concerning  whom  or  what  ? 
Conrad,  Albert  I 

Auranthe,  I  would  inquire  somewhat  of 
him: 
You  had  a  letter  from  me  touching  him  ?  60 
No  treason  'gainst  his  head  in  deed  or 

word ! 
Surely    you    spared    him    at  my   earnest 

prayer  ? 
Give  me  the  letter  —  it  should  not    ex- 
ist I 


Conrad,  At  one  pernicious  charge  of  the 

enemy, 
I,  for  a  moment-whiles,  was  prisoner  ta'en 
And  rifled,  —  stuff  1  the  horses'  hoofs  have 

minced  it ! 
Auranthe,  He  is  alive  ? 
Conrad,  He  is  I  but  here  make  oath 

To  alienate  him  from  your  scheming  brain. 
Divorce  him  from  your  solitary  thoughts. 
And  cloud  him  in  such  utter  banishment,  70 
That  when  his  person   meets  agidn  your 

eye. 
Your  vision  shall  quite  lose  its  memory. 
And  wander  past  him  as  through  vacancy. 
Auranthe,  I  '11  not  be  perjured. 
Conrad,  No,  nor  great,  nor  mighty; 

You  would  not  wear  a  crown,  or  rule  a 

kingdom. 
To  you  it  is  indifferent. 
Auranthe.  What  means  this? 

Conrad,  You  '11  not  be  perjured  !    Go  to 

Albert  then. 
That  camp-mushroom  —  dishonour  of  our 

house. 
Go,  page  his  dusty  heels  upon  a  march. 
Furbish  his  jingling  baldric  while  he  sleeps, 
And  share  his  mouldy  ration  in  a  siege.    81 
Yet  stay,  —  perhaps  a  charm  may  call  you 

back. 
And  make  the  widening  circlets  of  your 

eyes 
Sparkle  with   healthy  fevers.  —  The   Em- 
peror 
Hath  given  consent  that  you  should  marry 

Ludolpb  ! 
Auranthe,  Can  it  be,  brother?    For  a 

golden  crown 
With  a  queen's  awful  lips  I  doubly  thank 

you  I 
This  is  to  wake  in  Paradise  I     Farewell 
Thou  clod  of  yesterday  —  't  was  not   my- 
self I 
Not  till  this  moment  did  I  ever  feel  90 

My  spirit's  faculties  I    1 11  flatter  you 
For  this,  and  be  you  ever  proud  of  it; 
Thou,  Jove-like,  struck'dst  thy  forehead. 
And  from  the  teeming  marrow  of  thy  brain 


SCENE  I 


OTHO  THE  GREAT 


i6i 


(    ftpriog    complete     Minerva !     but    the 

prince  — 
His  highness  Ladolph  —  where  is  he  ? 

Conrad.  I  know  not: 

When,  Imckying  mj  counsel  at  a  beck. 
The  rebel  lords,  on  bended  knees,  received 
The  Emperor's  pardon,  Ludolph  kept  aloof, 
Sole,  in  a  stiff,  fool-hardy,  sulky  pride;    loo 
Yet,  for  all  this,  I  never  saw  a  father 
In  such  a  sickly  longing  for  his  son. 
We  shall  soon  see  him,  for  the  Emperor 
He  will  be  here  this  morning. 

Auranike,  That  I  heard 

Among  the  midnight  rumours  from  the 

camp. 
Conrad.  Ton  give  up  Albert  to  me  ? 
AuraiUke.  Harm  him  not ! 

£*en  for  his  highness  Lndolph's  sceptry 

hand, 
I  woold  not  Albert  suffer  any  wrong. 
Conrad,  Have  I  not  laboured,  plotted  —  ? 
Auranihe.  See  you  spare  him : 

Xor  be  pathetic,  my  kind  benefactor  I      no 
Ob  all  the  many  bounties  of  your  liand,  — 
'T  was  for  yourself  you  laboured  —  not  for 

me ! 
Do  joo  not  count,  when  I  am  queen,  to 

take 
Advmntage  of  your  chance  discoveries 
Of  my  poor  secrets,  and  so  hold  a  rod 
Over  my  life  ? 

Conrad.  Let  not  this  slave  —  this  vil- 
lain— 
Be  canse  of  fend  between  us.    See  f   he 

comes! 
Look,  woman,  look,  your  Albert  is  quite 

safe! 
In  haste  it  seems.     Now  shall  I  be  in  the 


And  wish*d  with  silent  curses  in  my  grave, 
nde  with'  whelmed  mariners.  lai 


Enter  Albert. 

AtberU    Fair  on    yonr  graces  fall  this 
early  morrow  I 
Sa  it  is  lika  to  do  without  my  prayers. 
For  jFoar  right  noble  names,  like  favourite 
tanes. 


Have  fallen  full  frequent  from  our  Em- 
peror's lips, 
High  commented  with  smiles. 
Auranihe.  Noble  Albert  \ 

Conrad  (aside).  Noble  I 
AurarUhe.  Such  salutation  arg^ues  a  glad 
heart 
In  our  prosperity.     We  thank  you,  sir. 

Albert.  Lady  t 

O,  would  to  Heaven  your  poor  servant 
Could   do  you  better  service   than   mere 
words  I  130 

But  I  have  other  greeting  than  mine  own. 
From  no  less  man  than  Otho,  who  has  sent 
This  ring  as  pledge  of  dearest  amity; 
'T  is  chosen  I  hear  from  Hymen's  jewelry. 
And  you  will  prize  it,  lady,  I  doubt  not. 
Beyond  all  pleasures  past,  and  all  to  come. 
To  you  great  duke  — 

Conrad.  To  me  I     What  of  me,  ha  ? 

Albert.  What  pleased  your  grace  to  say  ? 
Conrad.  Your  message,  sir  I 

Albert.  You  mean  not  this  to  me  ? 
Conrad.  Sister,  this  way; 

For  there  shall  be  no  '  gentle  Alberts '  now, 

[Aside. 
No  '  sweet  Auranthes  I '  141 

[Exeunt  Conrad  and  Auranths. 
Albert  {solus).  The  duke  is  out  of  temper;, 
if  he  knows 
More  than  a  brother  of  his  sister  ought, 
I  should  not  quarrel  with  his  peevishness. 
Auranthe  —  Heaven  preserve  her  always 

fairl  — 
Is  in  the  heady,  proud,  ambitions  vein; 
I  bicker  not  with  her,  —  bid  her  farewell  I 
She  has  taken  flight  from  me,  then  let  her 

soar, — 
He  is  a  fool  who  stands  at  pining  gaze  I 
But  for  poor  Ludolph,  he  is  food  for  sor- 
row: ISO 
No  leveling  bluster  of  my  licensed  thoughts. 
No  military  swagger  of  my  mind. 
Can  smother  from  myself  the  wrong  I  've 

done  him,  — 
Without  design  indeed,  —  yet  it  is  so,  — 
And  opiate  for  the  conscience  have  I  none  I 

lExit. 


l62 


DRAMAS 


ACT  I 


Scene  II. —  The  Court-^yard  of  the 

Castle 

Martial  Music.  Enter,  from  the  outer  gate, 
Otho,  Nobles,  Knights,  and  Attendants, 
The  Soldiers  halt  at  the  gate,  toith  Banners 
in  sight, 

Otho.  Where  is  my  noble  Herald  ? 

Enter  Conrad,  from  the  Castle,  attended 
by  two  Knights  and  Servants,  Albert 
following. 

Well,  hast  told 

Auranthe  our  intent  imperial  ? 

Lest  oar  rent  banners,  too  o'  the  sudden 
shown, 

Should  fright  her  silken  casements,  and 
dismay 

Her  household  to  our  lack  of  entertain- 
ment. 

A  victory  I 

Conrad.      Grod  save  illustrious  Otho  I 
Otho.  Aye,  Conrad,  it  will  pluck  out  all 
gray  hairs; 

It  is  the  best  physician  for  the  spleen; 

The  courtliest  inviter  to  a  feast; 

The  subtlest  excuser  of  small  faults;         lo 

And  a  nice  judge  in  the  age  and  smack  of 
wine. 

Enter  from  the  Castle,  Auranthe,  followed 
by  Pages,  holding  up  her  robes,  and  a  train 
of  Women.    She  kneels. 

Hail  my  sweet  hostess  I   I  do  thank  the 

stars, 
Or  my  good  soldiers,  or  their  ladies'  eyes. 
That,  after  such  a  merry  battle  fought, 
I  can,  all  safe  in  body  and  in  soul. 
Kiss  your  fair  hand  and  lady  fortune's  too. 
My  ring  I  now,  on  my  life,  it  doth  rejoice 
These  lips  to  feel 't  on  this  soft  ivory  I 
Keep  it,  my  brightest  daughter;  it  may 

prove 
The  little  prologue  to  a  line  of  kings.        20 
I  strove  against  thee  and  my  hot-blood  son. 
Dull  blockhead  that  I  was  to  be  so  blind, 
But  now  my  sight  is  clear;  forgive  me, 

lady. 


Auranthe.  My  lord,  I  was  a  vassal  to 

your  frown. 
And  now  your  favour  makes  me  but  more 

humble; 
In  wintry  winds  the  simple  snow  is  safe, 
But  fadeth  at  the  g^reeting  of  the  sun: 
Unto  thine  anger  I  might  well  have  spoken. 
Taking  on  me  a  woman's  privilege. 
But  this  so  sudden  kindness  makes  me 

dumb.  30 

Otho.  What  need  of  this  ?    Enough,  if 

you  will  be 
A  potent  tutoress  to  my  wayward  boy. 
And  teach  him,  what  it  seems  his  nurse 

could  not, 
To  say,  for  once,  I  thank  you  I    Sigif red  I 
Albert.  He  has   not    yet  returned,  my 

g^cious  liege. 
Otho.  What  then  I    No  tidings  of  my 

friendly  Arab  ? 
Conrad.  None,  mighty  Otho. 

[7V>  one  of  his  Knights  who  goes  out. 

Send  forth  instantly 
An  hundred  horsemen  from  my  honoured 

gates. 
To  scour  the  plains  and  search  the  cot- 
tages. 
Cry  a  reward,  to  him  who  shall  first  bring 
News  of  that  vanished  Arabian,  4% 

A  f  ull-heap'd  helmet  of  the  purest  gold. 
Otho.  More  thanks,  good  Conrad;  for, 

except  my  son's, 
There  is  no  face  I  rather  would  behold 
Than  that  same  quick-eyed  pagan's.     B/ 

the  saints. 
This  coming  night  of  banquets  must 

light 
Her    dazzling    torches;    nor    the 

breathe 
Smooth,  without  clashing  cymbal,  tones  of 

peace 
And  in-door  melodies;  nor  the  ruddy  wine 
Ebb  spouting  to  the  lees;  if  I  pledge  not,  90 
In  my  first  cup,  that  Arab  ! 

Albert.  Mighty  Monareh, 

I  wonder  not  this  stranger's  victor-deeds 
So  hang  upon  your  spirit.    Twice  in  tho 

fight 


SCENE  II 


OTHO  THE  GREAT 


163 


It  wms  mj  chanoe  to  meet  his  olive  brow, 
Triumpliant    in    the    enemy's    shutter'd 

riiomb; 
And,  to  saj  trath,  in  any  Christian  arm 
I  never  saw  such  prowess. 

Oiko.  IHd  yon  ever  ? 

O,  'tis  a  noble  boy  I  —  tut  I  — what  do  I 

say? 
I  mean  a  triple  Saladin,  whose  eyes, 
When  in  the  glorious    scuffle   they  met 
mine,  60 

Seem'd  to  say  — '  Sleep,  old  man,  in  safety 

sleep; 
I  am  the  victory  I ' 

Conrad.  Pity  he  's  not  here. 

Otko.  And  my  son  too,  pity  he  is  not 
here. 
Lady  Anranthe,  I  would  not  make    you 

blnshy 
Bat  can  you  give  a  guess  where  Ludolph 

b? 
Know  yon  not  of  him  ? 
A  uranike.  Indeed,  my  liege,  no  secret  — 
OkIo.  Nay,  nay,  without    more  words, 

dost  know  of  him  ? 
Aunmike,  I  would  I  were  so  over-fortu- 
nate. 
Both  lor  his  sake  and  mine,  and  to  make 

glad 
A  iatiwr's  ears  with  tidings  of  his  son.      70 
Otto.  I  see  *t  is  like  to  be  a  tedious  day. 
Wflve  Theodore  and  Gonf red  and  the  rest 
Scat  fotih  with  my  commands  ? 

it  Acrf.  Aye,  my  lord. 

Otto.  And  no  news  I  No  news  I  'Faith ! 

t  is  very  strange 

He  thns  avoids  us.   Lady,  is 't  not  strange  ? 

WiD  he  be  tmant  to  you  too  ?    It  is  a 


C^lomrad.  Will  "t  please  yonr  highness  en- 
ter, and  accept, 
lui worthy  welcome  of  your  servant's 
honse? 
jour  cares  to  one  whose  diligence 
May  hi  few  hoan  make  pleasures  of  them 
alL  80 

Hot  to  tedious,  Conrad.    No,  no, 


I  must  see  Ludolph  or  the  —  What 's  that 

shout  ? 
Voices  without.  Huzza  I  huzza  I  Long  live 

the  Emperor  I 
Other  voices.  Fall  back  I    Away  there  I 
Otho.  Say  what  noise  is  that  ? 

Albert  advancing  from  the  hack  of  the 
Stage,  whither  he  had  hastened  on  hearing 
the  cheers  of  the  soldiery. 

Albert.  It  is  young  Grersa,  the  Hungarian 
prince, 
Pick'd  like  a  red  stag  from  the  fallow  herd 
Of  prisoners.  Poor  prince,  forlorn  he  steps. 
Slow,  and  demure,  and  proud  in  his  de- 
spair. 
If  I  may  judge  by  his  so  tragic  bearing,    89 
His  eye  not  downcast,  and  his  folded  arm, 
He  doth  this  moment  wish  himself  asleep 
Among  his  fallen  captains  on  yon  plains. 

Enter  Gersa,  in  chains,  and  guarded. 

Otho.  WeU  said.  Sir  Albert. 
Gersa.  Not  a  word  of  g^eting. 

No  welcome  to  a  princely  visitor, 
Most  mighty  Otho?    Will  not  my  great 

host 
Vouchsafe  a  syllable,  before  he  bids 
His  gentlemen  conduct  me  with  all  care 
To  some  securest  lodging  —  cold  perhaps  I 
Otho.  What  mood  is  this  ?  Hath  fortune 

touched  thy  brain  ? 
Gersa.  O  kings  and  princes  of  this  fev'- 
rous  world,  100 

What  abject  things,  what  mockeries  must 

ye  be, 
What  nerveless  minions  of  safe  palaces  I 
When  here,  a  monarch,  whose  proud  foot 

is  used 
To  fallen  princes'  necks,  as  to  his  stirrup. 
Must  needs  exclaim  that  I  am  mad  for- 
sooth. 
Because  I  cannot  flatter  with  bent  knees 
My  conqueror  I 

Otho.        Gersa,  I  think  you  wrong  me: 
I  think  I  have  a  better  fame  abroad. 

Gersa.  I  pr'ythee  mock  me  not  with  gen- 
tle speech,  lo^ 


164 


DRAMAS 


Acrr 


But,  as  a  favour,  bid  me  from  thy  presence; 
Let  me  no  longer  be  the  wondering  food 
Of  all  these  eyes;  pr'ythee  command  me 

hence  t 
Oiho.  Do  not  mistake  me,  Grersa.    That 

yon  may  not, 
Come,  fair  Anranthe,  try  if  your  soft  hands 
Can  manage  those  hard  riyets  to  set  free 
So  brave  a  prince  and  soldier. 
Auranthe  (sets  him  free).  Welcome  task  ! 
Gersa.  I  am  wound  up  in  deep  astonish- 
ment! 
Thank  you,  fair  lady.     Otho  I  emperor  1 
Tou  rob  me  of  myself;  my  dig^ty 
Is  now  your  infant;  I  am  a  weak  child,    lao 
Otho,  Give  me  your  hand,  and  let  this 

kindly  grasp 
Live  in  our  memories. 

Gersa.  In  mine  it  will. 

I  blush  to  think  of  my  unchasten'd  tongue; 
But  I  was  haunted  by  the  monstrous  ghost 
Of  all  our  slain  battalions.     Sire,  reflect, 
And  pardon  yon  will  g^nt,  that,  at  this 

hour, 
The  bruised  remnants  of  our  stricken  camp 
Are    huddling    undisting^uish'd    my    dear 

friends, 
With    common    thousands,    into    shallow 

graves. 
Otho,  Enough,  most  noble  Gersa.    You 

are  free  130 

To  cheer  the  brave  remainder  of  yonr  host 
By  your  own  healing  presence,  and  that 

too, 
Not  as  their  leader  merely,  but  their  king; 
For,  as  I  hear,  the  wily  enemy. 
Who  eased  the  crownet  from  your  infant 

brows, 
Bloody  Taraxa,  is  among  the  dead. 

Gersa.  Then  I  retire,  so  generous  Otho 

please. 
Bearing  with  me  a  weight  of  benefits 
Too  heavy  to  be  borne. 

Oiho.  It  is  not  so; 

Still  understand  me,  King  of  Hungary,    140 
Nor  judge  my  open  purposes  awry. 
Though  I  did  hold  you  high  in  my  esteem 
For  ^our  selFs  sake,  I  do  not  personate 


The  stage-play  emperor  to  entrap  applause^ 
To  set  the  silly  sort  o'  the  world  agape. 
And  make  the  politic  smile;   no,  I  have 

heard 
How  in  the  Council  you   condemn*d  this- 

war. 
Urging  the  perfidy  of  broken  faith,  — 
For  that  I  am  your  friend. 

Gersa.  If  ever,  sire. 

You  are  my  enemy,  I  dare  here  swear     150. 
'T  will  not  be  Grersa's  fault.     Otho,  fare- 
well! 
Otho.  Will  you  return.  Prince,  to  our 

banqueting  ? 
Gersa.  As  to  my  father's  board  I  will 

return. 
Otho,  Conrad,  with  all  due   ceremony,. 

give 
The  prince  a  regal  escort  to  his  camp; 
Albert,  go  thou  and  bear  him  company. 
Grersa,  farewell  I 

Gersa.  All  happiness  attend  you  I 

Otho.  Return  with  what  good  speed  you 

may;  for  soon 
We  must  consult  upon  our  terms  of  peace. 
^Exeunt  Gersa  and  Albert  with  others^ 
And  thus  a. marble  column  do  I  build      160 
To  prop  my  empire's  dome.     Conrad,  in 

thee 
I  have  another  steadfast  one,  to  uphold 
The  portals  of  my  state;  and,  for  my  own 
Pre-eminence  and  safety,  I  will  strive 
To  keep  thy  strength  upon  its  pedesiaL 
For,  without  thee,  this  day  I  might  haT» 

been 
A  show-monster  about  the  streets  of  Prag^oe, 
In  chains,  as  just  now  stood  that  noble 

prince: 
And  then  to  me  no  mercy  had  been  shown. 
For  when  the  conquer'd  lion  is  onoe  dun- 

g^eon  d,  170 

Who  lets  him  forth  again  ?  or  dares  to 

give 
An  old  lion  sugar-cakes  of  mild  reprieve  ? 
Not  to  thine  ear  alone  I  make  confession, 
But  to  all  here,  as,  by  experience, 
I  know  how  the  great  basement  of   all 

power 


SdNBIII 


OTHO  THE  GREAT 


165 


Ii  (nnknttm,  and  a  true  tongue  to  the 

world; 
Aid  how  intrignmg  secrecy  is  proof 
Of  fear  and  weakness,  and  a  hollow  state. 
Conrad,  I  owe  thee  much. 

Conrad.  To  kiss  that  hand, 

Mj  emperor,  is  ample  recompense,  180 

For  a  mere  act  of  dnty. 

(Mo,  Thou  art  wrong; 

For  what  can  any  man  on  earth  do  more  ? 
We  will  make  trial  of  your  house's  wel- 
come, 
Mj  hri^t  Anranthe  I 

Conrad,       How  is  Friedbnrg  honoured  1 

Enter  Ethklbsbt  and  six  Monks. 

Eihdbert.  The  benison  of  heaven  on  your 
bead. 
Imperial  Otho  I 
(kho.     Who  stays  me  ?  Speak  I  Quick  I 
Eikdbert.  Pause  but  one  moment,  mighty 
eonqueror  I 
Upon  the  threshold  of  this  house  of  joy. 
(kho.  Pray,  do  not  prose,  good  £thelbert, 
but  speak 
What  is  your  purpose. 
Etkdbert.  The  restoration  of  some  cap- 
tire  maids,  190 
Beroted  to  Heaven's  pious  ministries, 
Who^  driven  forth    from  their  religious 

cells. 
And  kepi  in  thraldom  by  our  enemy. 
When  late  this  province  was  a  lawless  spoil, 
Sdn  weep  amid  the  wild  Hungarian  camp, 
Tboogh  hemm'd  around  by  thy  victorious 


Oika,  Demand  the  holy  sisterhood  in  our 


Fiom  Gersa's  tents.    Farewell,  old  Ethel- 

bert. 
Eikdbert.  The  saints  will  bless  yon  for 

tins  pious  care. 
Otko.  Daog^ter,  your  hand;   Lndolph*s 

wottld  fit  it  best.  200 

Conrad,  Ho !  let  the  music  sound  I 
[if MfMr.    Ethklbert  roxst^  his  hands,  as  in 
hemedietion  of  Otho.    Exeunt  severally. 
The  Meene  doees  on  them. 


Scene  III.  —  Tke  Country,  with  the 
Castle  in  the  distance 

Enter  Ludolph  and  Sioifred. 

Ludolph.  You  have  my  secret;  let  it  not 

be  breathed. 
Sigifred.  Still  give  me  leave  to  wonder 

that  the  Prince 
Ludolph  and  the  swift  Arab  are  the  same; 
Still    to    rejoice    that  't    was  a  Grerman 

arm 
Death  doing  in  a  turban'd  masquerade. 
Ludolph,  The  emperor  must  not  know  it, 

Sigifred. 
Sigifred.  I  pr*ythee,  why?    What  hap- 
pier hour  of  time 
Could  thy  pleased  star  point  down  upon 

from  heaven 
With    silver  index,    bidding    thee    make 

peace  ? 
Ludolph.  Still  it  must  not  be  known,  good 

Sigifred;  to 

The  star  may  point  oblique. 

Sigifred.  If  Otho  knew 

His  son  to  be  that  unknown  Mussulman, 
After  whose  spurring  heels  he  sent  me 

forth. 
With  one  of  his  well -pleased  Olympian 

oaths. 
The  charters  of  man's  greatness,  at  this 

hour 
He  would  be  watching  round  the  castle 

walls. 
And,  like  an  anxious   warder,   strain   his 

sight 
For  the   first  glimpse   of  such  a  son  re- 

tum'd  — 
Ludolph,  that  blast  of  the  Hungarians, 
That  Saracenic  meteor  of  the  fight,  ao 

That  silent  fury,  whose  fell  scimitar 
Kept  danger  all  aloof  from  Otho's  head, 
And  left  him  space  for  wonder. 

Ludolph.  Say  no  more. 

Not  as  a  swordsman  would  I  pardon  claim. 
But  as  a  son.     The  bronzed  centurion, 
Long  toird  in  foreign  wars,  and  whose  high 

deeds 
Are  shaded  in  a  forest  of  tall  spears. 


i66 


DRAMAS 


ACT  I 


Known  only  to  his  troop,  hath  greater  plea 
Of  favour  with  my  sire  than  I  can  have. 
Sigifred.  My  lord,  forgive  me  that  I  can- 
not see  30 
How  this  proud  temper  with  clear  reason 

squares. 
What  made  you  then,  with  such  an  anxious 

love, 
Hover  around  that  life,  whose  bitter  days 
Tott  vext  with  bad  revolt  ?    Was  't  opium. 
Or  the  mad-fumed  wine?    Nay,  do  not 

frown, 
I  rather  would  g^eve  with  you  than  up- 
braid. 
Ludolph.  I  do  believe  you.   No, 'twas  not 
to  make 
A  father  his  son's  debtor,  or  to  heal 
His  deep  heart-sickness  for  a  rebel  child. 
'T  was  done  in  memory  of  my  boyish  days, 
Poor  cancel  for  his  kindness  to  my  youth,  41 
For  all  his  calming  of  my  childish  griefs. 
And  all  his  smiles  upon  my  merriment. 
No,  not  a  thousand  foughten  fields  could 

sponge 
Those  days  paternal  from  my  memory, 
miough  now  upon  my  head  he  heaps  dis- 
g^race. 
Sigifred,     My    prince,    you    think    too 

harshly  — 
Ludolph,  Can  I  so  ? 

Hath  he  not  gall'd  my  spirit  to  the  quick  ? 
And  with  a  sullen  rigour  obstinate  49 

Ponr'd  out  a  phial  of  wrath  upon  my  faults  ? 
Hunted  me  as  the  Tartar  does  the  boar. 
Driven  me  to  the  very  edge  o'  the  world, 
And  almost  put  a  price  upon  my  head  ? 
Sigifred.  Remember  how  he  spared  the 

rebel  lords. 
Ludolph,  Tes,  yes,  I  know  he  hath  a  no- 
ble nature 
That  cannot  trample  on  the  fallen.     But 

his 
Is  not  the  only  proud  heart  in  his  realm. 
He  hath  wronged  me,  and  I  have  done  him 

wrong; 
He  hath  loved  me,  and  I  have  shown  him 

kindness; 
We  should  be  almost  equal. 


Sigifred,  Tet,  for  all  this, 

I  would  you  had  appear'd  among  those 

lords,  6k 

And  ta'en  his  favour. 

Ludolph,  Ha  I  till  now  I  thought 

My  friend  had  held  poor  Ludolph's  honour 

dear. 
What  I  would  you  have  me  sue  before  his 

throne 
And  kiss  the  courtier's    missal,   its    silk 

steps? 
Or  hug  the  golden  housings  of  his  steed. 
Amid  a  camp,  whose  steeled  swarms  I 

dared 
But    yesterday?      And,  at    the    trumpet 

sound. 
Bow  like  some  unknown  mercenary's  flag 
And  lick  the  soiled  grass?    No,  no,  my 

friend,  70 

I  would  not,  I,  be  pardon'd  in  the  heap. 
And  bless  indemnity  with  all  that  scum,  — 
Those  men  I  mean,  who  on  my  shoulders 

propp'd 
Their  weak  rebellion,   winning    me   with 

lies, 
And  pitying  forsooth  my  many  wrongs; 
Poor    self-deceived    wretches,   who    must 

think 
Each  one  himself  a  king  in  embryo. 
Because    some  dozen  vassals  cried  —  my 

lord! 
Cowards,  who  never  knew  their  little  hearts. 
Till  flurried  danger  held  the  mirror  up,    80 
And  then  they  own'd  themselves  without  a 

blush. 
Curling,  like  spaniels,  round  my  father's 

feet. 
Such  things  deserted  me  and  are  forgiven, 
While  I,  less  guilty,  am  an  outcast  still, 
And  will  be,  for  I  love  such  fair  disgrace. 
Sigifred,   I  know  the    clear    truth;    so 

would  Otho  see. 
For  he  is  just  and  noble.    Fain  would  I 
Be  pleader  for  you  — 

Ludolph,  He  11  hear  none  of  it; 

Tou  know  his  temper,  hot,  proud,  obstinate; 
Endanger  not  yourself  so  uselessly.  90 

I  will  encounter  his  thwart  spleen  myself, 


SCENE  I 


OTHO   THE   GREAT 


167 


To-daj,  at  the  Duke  Conrad's,  where  he 

keeps 
Hk  crowded  state  after  the  Tictorj, 
There  will  I  be,  a  most  unwelcome  g^est, 
And  parley  with  him,  as  a  son  should  do, 
Who  doohlj  loathes  a  father's  tyranny; 
Tell  him  how  feeble  is  that  tyranny; 
How  the  relationship  of  father  and  son 
Is  no  more  valid  than  a  silken  leash 
Where  lions  tng  adverse,  if  love  grow  not 
From    interchanged    love    through    many 
years.  10 1 

Aye,  and  those  tnrreted  Franconian  walls, 
Like  to  a  jealous  casket,  hold  my  pearl  — 
My  fair  Anranthe  I    Tes,  I  will  be  there. 
Sigifirtd,  Be  not  so  rash;  wait  till  his 
wrath  shall  pass, 
Uatfl  his  royal  spirit  softly  ebbs 
Self-inflnenced;  then,  in  his  morning  dreams 
He  will  forgive  thee,  and  awake  in  grief 
To  have  not  thy  good  morrow. 

Ludolfk.  Yes,  to-day 

I  most  be  there,  while  her  young  pulses 

beat  no 

AflKNig  the  new -plumed  minions  of  the 


Have  yon  seen  her  of  late  ?    No  ?     An- 
ranthe, 
Frtaeoiiia's  fair  sister,  't  is  I  mean. 
She  should   be    paler   for   my   troublous 

days- 
Aid  there  it  is  —  my  father's  iron  lips 
Have  sworn  divorcement  'twixt  me  and  my 

rig^t 
^g^red  (aside).  Anranthe  f  I  had  hoped 

this  whim  had  pass'd. 
iMdoipiL  And,  Sigifred,  with  all  his  love 

of  jostiee. 
When  will  he  take  that  grandchild  in  his 

arms, 
T^tif  by  my  love  I  swear,  shall  soon  be 

nis  7  120 

IVs  reeooeilement  is  impossible, 
Foriee  —  bat  who  are  these  ? 

Sig^red,  They  are  messengers 

fnm  oor  great  emperor;  to  yon,  I  doubt 

■ot, 
F«  eowiers  are  abroad  to  seek  you  out. 


Enter  Theodore  and  GtONFRed. 

Theodore,  Seeing  so  many  vigilant  eyes 
explore 
The  province  to  invite  your  highness  back 
To  your  high  dignities,  we  are  too  happy. 
Gonfred,  We  have  eloquence  to  colour 
justly 
The  emperor's  anxious  wishes. 
Ludolph,  Go.    I  follow  you. 

lExeunt  Theodore  and  GtONFRed. 
I  play  the  prude:  it  is  but  venturing  — 
Why  should  he  be  so  earnest  ?    Come,  my 
friend,  131 

Let  us  to  Friedburg  castle. 


ACT   II 
Scene  I. —  An  antechamber  in  the  Castle 

Enter  Ludolph  and  Sigifred. 

Ludolph.  No  more  advices,  no  more  cau- 
tioning; 
I  leave  it  all  to  fate  —  to  any  thing  I 
I  cannot  square  my  conduct  to  time,  place^ 
Or  circumstance;  to  me  'tis  all  a  mist  I 
Sigifred.  I  say  no  more. 
Ludolph.  It  seems  I  am  to  wait 

Here  in  the  anteroom;  —  that  may  be  a 

trifle. 
You  see  now  how  I  dance  attendance  here. 
Without  that  tyrant  temper,  you  so  blame. 
Snapping  the   rein.     You  have   medicined 

me 
With  good  advices;  and  I  here  remain,     10 
In  this  most  honourable  anteroom, 
Your  patient  scholar. 

Sigifred.  Do  not  wrong  me,  Prince. 

By  Heavens,  I  'd  rather  kiss  Duke  Conrad's 

slipper. 
When  in  the  morning  he  doth  yawn  with 

pride. 
Than  see  you  humbled  but  a  half-degree  I 
Truth  is,  the  Emperor  would  fain  dismiss 
The  Nobles  ere  he  sees  you. 

Enter  Gonfred  from  the  Council-room. 
Ludolph.  Well,  sir  !  what  ? 


1 68 


DRAMAS 


ACT  II 


Gonfred,  Great  honour  to  the   Prince  I 

The  Emperor, 
Hearing  that  his  brave  son  had  reappeared, 
Instant    dismissed    the   Coonoil    from   his 

sight,  ao 

As  Jove  fans  o£F  the  clouds.     Even  now 

they  pass.  [^Exit, 

Enter  the  Nobles  from  the  Council-room, 
They  cross  the  Stage^  bowing  with  respect 
to  LuDOLPH,  he  frowning  on  them.  Cqjs- 
TLAi>  foUotos.    Exeunt  Nobles, 

Ludolph,  Not  the  discoloured  poisons  of 

a  fen. 
Which  he,  who  breathes,  feels  warning  of 

his  death. 
Could  taste  so  nauseous  to  the  bodily  sense. 
As  these  prodigious  sycophants  disgust 
The  soul's  fine  palate. 

Conrad,  Princely  Ludolph,  hail  I 

Welcome,  thou    younger  sceptre  to    the 

realm  I 
Strength  to  thy  virgin  orownet's  golden 

buds. 
That  they,  against  the  winter  of  thy  sire. 
May  burst,  and  swell,  and  flourish  round 

thy  brows,  30 

Maturing  to  a  weighty  diadem  I 
Yet  be  that  hour  far  o£F;  and  may  he  live. 
Who  waits  for  thee,  as  the  chapp*d  earth 

for  rain. 
Set    my   life's    star!     I  have  lived  long 

enough, 
Since  under  my  glad  roof,  propitiously. 
Father  and  son  each  other  re-possess. 
Ludolph,  Fine  wording,  Duke  I  but  words 

could  never  yet 
Forestall  the  fates;  have  you  not  learnt  that 

yet? 
Let  me  look  well:  your  features  are  the 

same; 
Your  gait  the  same;  your  hair  of  the  same 

shade;  40 

As  one  I  knew  some  passed  weeks  ago. 
Who  sung  far  different   notes  into  mine 

ears. 
I  have  mine  own  particular  comments  on 't; 
You  have  your  own,  perhaps. 


Conrad,  My  gracious  Prince, 

All  men  may  err.  In  truth  I  was  deceived 
In  your  great  father's  nature,  as  you  were. 
Had  I  known  that  of  him  I  have  since 

known, 
And  what  you  soon  will  learn,  I  would  have 

tum'd 
My  sword  to  my  own  throat,  rather  than 

held 
Its  threatening  edge  against  a  good  King's 

quiet:  50 

Or  with   one    word    fever'd   you,  gentle 

Prince, 
Who  seem'd  to  me,  as  rugged  times  then 

went, 
Indeed  too  much  oppress'd.     May  I  be 

bold 
To  tell  the  Emperor  yon  will  haste  to  him  ? 
Ludolph,  Your  Dukedom's  privilege  will 

grant  so  much. 

[^xt^  Conrad. 
He 's  very  close  to  Otho,  a  tight  leech  ! 
Your  hand  —  I  go  I  Ha  I  here  the  thunder 

comes 
Sullen  against  the  wind  I    If  in  two  angry 

brows 
My  safety  lies,  then  Sigifred,  I  'm  safe. 

Enter  Otho  and  Conrad. 

Otho,  Will  you    make  Titan    play  the 

lackey-page  60 

To  chattering  pigmies  ?    I  would  have  yea 

know 
That  such  neglect  of  our  high  Majesty 
Annuls  all  feel  of  kindred.    What  is  son,  — 
Or  friend  —  or  brother  —  or  all  ties  of 

blood, — 
When  the  whole  kingdom,  centred  in  oar- 

self. 
Is  rudely  slighted  ?    Who  am  I  to  wait  ? 
By  Peter's  chair  I  I  have  upon  my  tongue 
A    word   to    fright    the    proudest    spirit 

here  !  — 
Death  I  —  and  slow  tortures  to  the  haidj 

fool. 
Who  dares  take  such  large  charter  from 

our  smiles  I  70 

Conrad,  we  would  be  private  I    Sigifred  ! 


SCHKBI 


OTHO  THE  GREAT 


169 


Off  I     And  none  pass  this  way  on  pain  of 
dealh! 

lExeunt  Conrad  and  Sigifred. 
Ltidclpk,  Thia  was  bnt  half  expected,  my 
good  airey 
Tet  I  am  grieTed  at  it,  to  the  full  height, 
As  thoogh  my  hopes  of  favour  had  been 
whole. 
Oiko,  How  yon  indulge  yourself !    What 

ean  you  hope  for  ? 
Ludo^l^h.  Nothing,  my  liege,  I  have  to 
hope  for  nothing. 
I  eome  to  greet  you  as  a  loving  son, 
And  then  depart,  if  I  may  be  so  free, 
Seeing  that  blood  of  yours  in  my  warm 

TeiDS  80 

Hss  not  yet  mitigated  into  milk. 
Otko.  What  would  you,  sir  ? 
Lndoipk,  A  lenient  banishment; 

So  please  you  let  me  unmolested  pass 
Tkii  Conrad's  gates,  to  the  wide  air  again. 
I  vant  no  more.    A  rebel  wants  no  more. 

Otko,  And  shall  I  let  a  rebel  loose  again 
To  muster  kites  and  eagles  'gainst  my 

head? 
Ko^  obstinate  boy,  you  shall  be  kept  caged 

up, 
Sened  with  harsh  food,  with  scum  for 
Sunday-drink. 
LutU^.  Indeed  I 

Otko.  And  chains  too  heavy  for  your  life: 
I H  choose  a  jailer,  whose  swart  monstrous 

fMOt  90 

Shall  be  a  hell  to  look  upon,  and  she  — 
LiMpL  Ha! 

OAo.  Shall  be  your  fair  Anranthe. 
ItMpk,  Amaze  !  Amaze  1 

Oiko.  To-day  you  marry  her. 
iMdo^  This  is  a  sharp  jest ! 

OAa.  No.    None  at  all.    When  have  I 

nidalie? 
l^ielpL  If  I  sleep  not,  I  am  a  waking 

wretch. 
Otko.  Not  a  word  more.     Let  me  em- 

biaee  my  child. 
Uidfk.  I  dare  not    T  would  pollute 

so  good  a  &ther  I 
0 hsavy  crime!  that  your  son's  blinded  eyes 


Could  not  see  all  his  parent's  love  aright. 
As  now  I  see  it.    Be  not  kind  to  me  —   loi 
Punish  me  not  with  favour. 

Otko.  Are  yon  sure, 

Ludolph,  you  have  no  saving  plea  in  store  ? 
Ludolph.  My  father,  none  ! 
Otko,  Then  you  astonish  me. 

Ludolph,  No,  I  have  no  plea.    Disobedi- 
ence, 
Rebellion,  obstinacy,  blasphemy. 
Are  all  my  counsellors.    If  they  can  make 
My  crooked  deeds  show  good  and  plausible. 
Then  grant  me  loving  pardon,  but  not  else, 
Grood  Gods  !  not  else,  in  any  way,  my  liege  ! 
Otho,  You  are  a  most  perplexing,  noble 
boy.  Ill 

Ludolph,  You  not  less  a  perplexing  noble 

father. 
Otho,  Well,  you  shall  have  free  passport 
through  the  gates. 
Farewell ! 

Ludolph.  Farewell !  and  by  these  tears 
believe, 
And  still  remember,  I  repent  in  pain 
All  my  misdeeds ! 

Otho,  Ludolph,  I  will !  I  wiU  ! 

Bnt,  Ludolph,  ere  yon  go,  I  would  inquire 
If  you,  in  all  your  wandering,  ever  met 
A  certain  Arab  haunting  in  these  parts. 
Ludolph,  No,  my  good  lord,  I  cannot  say 
I  did.  120 

Otho,  Make  not  your  father  blind  before 
his  time; 
Nor  let  these  arms  paternal  hunger  more 
For  an  embrace,  to  dull  the  appetite 
Of  my  great  love  for  thee,  my  supreme 

child! 
Come  close,  and  let  me  breathe  into  thine 

ear. 
I  knew  you  through  disguise.    You  are  the 

Arab! 
You  can't  deny  it.  [^Embracing  him. 

Ludolph.  Happiest  of  days ! 

Otho,  We  'U  make  it  so. 
Ludolph,  'Stead  of  one  fatted  calf 

Ten  hecatombs  shall  bellow  out  their  last. 
Smote  'twixt  the  horns  by  the  death-stun- 
ning mace  iv^ 


lyo 


DRAMAS 


ACT  II 


Of  Mars,  and  all  the  soldiery  shall  feast 
Nobly    as    Nimrod's    masons,    when    the 

towers 
Of  Nineveh  new  kiss'd  the  parted  clouds  ! 
Otho.  Large  as  a  Grod  speak  out,  where 

all  is  thine. 
Ludolph.  Ay,  father,  but  the  fire  in  my 
sad  breast 
Is  quench'd  with  inward  tears !     I  must 

rejoice 
For  you,  whose  wings  so  shadow  over  me 
In  tender  victory,  but  for  myself 
I  still  must  mourn.     The  fair  Auranthe 
mine !  139 

Too  great  a  boon  !    I  pr'ythee  let  me  ask 
What  more  than  I  know  of  could  so  have 

changed 
Your  purpose  touching  her. 

Otho,  At  a  word,  this: 

In  no  deed  did  you  give  me  more  offence 
Than  your  rejection  of  Erminia. 
To  my  appalling,  I  saw  too  good  proof 
Of    your    keen-eyed    suspicion,  —  she    is 
naught ! 
Ludolph,  You  are  convinced  ? 
Otho,  Ay,  spite  of  her  sweet  looks. 

O,  that  my  brother's  daughter  should  so  fall! 
Her  fame  has  pass'd  into  the  grosser  lips 
Of  soldiers  in  their  cups. 
Ludolph.  'T  is  very  sad. 

Otho,  No  more  of  her.    Auranthe  —  Lu- 
dolph, come !  iS' 
This  marriage  be  the  bond  of  endless  peace  I 

[Exeunt, 

Scene  \\,—  The  entrance  of  Gersa's 
Tent  in  the  Hungarian  Camp 

Enter  Erminia. 

Erminia.  Where  I  where  !  where  shall  I 
find  a  messenger  ? 
A  trusty  soul  ?     A  g^ood  man  in  the  camp  ? 
Shall  I  go  myself?     Monstrous  wicked- 
ness ! 
O  cursed  Conrad  I  devilish  Auranthe  I 
Here  is  proof  palpable  as  the  bright  sun  I 
O  for  a  voice  to  reach  the  Emperor's  ears  ! 

[Shouts  in  the  camp. 


Enter  an  Hungarian  Captain. 
Captain,  Fair  prisoner,  you  hear  those 
joyous  shouts  ? 
The  king  —  aye,  now  our  king,  —  but  still 

your  slave. 
Young  Grersa,  from  a  short  captivity 
Has  just  returu'd.    He  bids  me  say,  bright 
dame,  10 

That  even  the  homage  of  his  ranged  chiefs 
Cures  not  his  keen  impatience  to  behold 
Such  beauty  once  again.     What  ails  you, 
lady? 
Erminia,  Say,  is  not  that  a  German,  yon- 
der ?    There ! 
Captain,  Methinks  by  his  stout  bearing 
he  should  be  — 
Yes  —  it  is  Albert;  a  brave  German  knight. 
And  much  in  the  Emperor's  favour. 

Erminia,  I  would  fain 

Inquire  of  friends  and  kinsfolk;  how  they 

fared 
In  these  rough  times.     Brave  soldier,  as 

you  pass 
To  royal  Gersa  with  my  humble  thanks,    ao 
Will  you  send  yonder  knight  to  me  ? 
Captain.  I  will.  [Exit, 

Erminia.  Yes,  he  was  ever  known  to  be 
a  man 
Frank,  open,  generous;  Albert  I  may  trust. 
O  proof  I    proof  !    proof !      Albert 's    an 

honest  man; 
Not  Ethelbert  the  monk,  if  he  were  here, 
Would  I  hold  more  trustworthy.     Now  I 

Enter  Albert. 

Albert.  Good  Gods ! 

Lady  Erminia  1  are  you  prisoner 
In  this  beleaguer'd  camp?     Or  are  yoa 

here 
Of  your  own  will  ?    You  pleased  to  send 

for  me. 
By  Venus,  't  is  a  pity  I  knew  not  30 

Your  plight  before,  and,  by  her  Son,  I 

swear 
To  do  you  every  service  you  can  ask. 
What  would  the  fairest—  ? 

Erminia.  Albert,  will  yoa  swear? 

Albert.  1  h&ve.    Well? 


SCENE  II 


OTHO   THE  GREAT 


171 


Ermdma*  Albert,  yoa  have  fame  to  lose. 
If  men,  in  court  and  camp,  lie  not  oatright, 
Yon  should  he,  from  a  thousand,  chosen 

forth 
To  do  an  honest  deed.    ShaU  I  confide  —  ? 
AlberL  Aye,  any  thing  to  me,  fair  crea- 
tore.     Do ; 
Dictate  my  task.    Sweet  woman,  — 

Erminia.  Truce  with  that. 

Tan    understand  me   not ;    and,  in  your 
speech,  40 

I  see  how  far  the  slander  is  abroad. 
Without  proof  could  you  think  me  inno- 
cent? 
Albert.  Lady,  I  should  rejoice  to  know 

you  so. 
Erminia.  If  you  have  any  pity  for  a^ 
maid, 
8dfezing  a  daily  death  from  evil  tongues; 
Any  compassion  for  that  Emperor's  niece, 
Who,  for  your  bright  sword  and  clear  hon- 
es^, 
lifted  you  from  the  crowd  of  common  men 
laio  the  lap  of  honour;  —  save  me,  knight ! 
Albert.  How?    Make  it  clear;   if  it  be 
possible,  50 

I  bj  the  banner  of  Saint  Maurice  swear 
To  right  you. 
Erminia.    Possible  I  —  Easy.       O     my 
heart! 
Iliii  letter's  not  so  soil'd  but  you  may 

read  it;  — 
PotBhle !    There  —  that  letter  !     Read  ~ 
read  it.  [^Gives  him  a  letter. 

Albert  (reading), 

*To  the  Duke  Conrad.  —  Forget  the 
tknst  yon  made  at  parting,  and  I  will  f or- 
tjd  to  send  the  Emperor  letters  and  papers 
if  yooiB  I  have  become  possessed  of.  His 
fife  is  no  trifle  to  me;  his  death  you  shall 
hd  Bone  to  yourself.'  (Speaks  to  himself.) 
Til  me — my  life  that's  pleaded  for! 
(Beads.)  *  He,  for  his  own  sake,  will  be 
imb  as  the  grave.  Erminia  has  my  shame 
ii'd  apoo  her,  sure  as  a  wen.  We  are 
■lb. 

<  AURAinVE.' 


A  she-devil !    A  dragon  !     I  her  imp  ! 
Fire  of  Hell !    Auranthe  —  lewd  demon  ! 
Where  got  you  this  ?    Where  ?     When  ? 
Erminia.  I  found  it  in  the  tent,  among 
some  spoils 
Which,  being  noble,  fell  to  Gersa's  lot.     70 
Come  in,  and  see. 

[They  go  in  and  return. 
Albert.  VUlainy!    ViUainy ! 

Conrad's  sword,  his  corslet,  and  his  helm. 
And  his  letter.     Caitiff,  he  shall  feel  — 
Erminia.  I  see  you  are  thunderstruck. 

Haste,  haste  away ! 
Albert.  O,  I  am  tortured  by  this  villainy. 
Erminia.  You  needs  must  be.     Carry  it 
swift  to  Otho; 
Tell  him,  moreover,  I  am  prisoner 
Here  in  this  camp,  where  all  the  sisterhood. 
Forced  from  their  quiet  cells,  are  parcel'd 

out 
For  slaves  among  these  Huns.      Away ! 
Away !  80 

Albert.  I  am  g^ne. 

Erminia.  Swift  be  your  steed  !    Within 
this  hour 
The  Emperor  will  see  it. 

Albert.  Ere  I  sleep: 

That  I  can  swear.  [^Hurries  out. 

Gersa  (without).  Brave  captains  !  thanks. 
Enough 
Of  loyal  homage  now  ! 

Enter  Gersa. 

Erminia.  Hail,  royal  Hun  1 

Gersa.  What  means  this,  fair  one  ?  Why 
in  such  alarm  ? 

Who  was  it  hurried  by  me  so  distract  ? 

It  seem'd  you  were  in  deep  discourse  to- 
gether; 

Your  doctrine  has  not  been  so  harsh  to 
him 

As  to  my  poor  deserts.     Come,  come,  be 
plain. 

I  am  no  jealous  fool  to  kill  you  both,        90 

Or,  for  such  trifles,  rob  th'  adorned  world 

Of  such  a  beauteous  vestal. 

Erminia.  I  grieve,  my  Lord, 

To  hear  you  condescend  to  ribald-phrase. 


172 


DRAMAS 


ACT  11 


Gersa,  This  is  too  much  !    Hearken,  my 

ladj  pore  I 
Erminia.  Silence  !  and  hear  the  magic  of 
a  name  — 
Erminia!      I   am    she,  —  the    Emperor's 

niece  ! 
Praised  be  the  Heavens,  I  now  dare  own 
myself! 
Gersa,  Erminia  1    Indeed  !    I  Ve  heard 
of  her. 
Fr'ythee,  fair  lady,  what  chance  brought 
you  here  ?  99 

Erminia.  Ask  your  own  soldiers. 
Gersa.        And  you  dare  own  your  name. 
For  loveliness  you  may — and  for  the  rest 
My  vein  is  not  censorious. 

Erminia.  Alas  !  poor  me  ! 

'T  is  false  indeed. 

Gersa.  Indeed  you  are  too  fair: 

The  swan,  soft  leaning  on  her  fledgy  breast. 
When  to  the  stream  she  launches,  looks 

not  back 
With  such  a  tender  grace ;  nor  are  her  wings 
So  white  as  your  soul  is,  if  that  but  be 
Twin  picture  to  your  face,  Erminia  ! 
To-day,  for  the  first  day,  I  am  a  king,     109 
Yet  would  I  give  my  unworn  crown  away 
To  know  you  spotless. 

Erminia.  Trust  me  one  day  more. 

Generously,  without  more  certain  guaran- 
tee. 
Than  this  poor  face  you  deign  to  praise  so 

much; 
After  that,  say  and  do  whate'er  you  please. 
If  I  have  any  knowledge  of  you,  sir, 
I  think,  nay  I  am  sure,  you  will  grieve 

much 
To  hear  my  story.     O  be  gentle  to  me. 
For  I  am  sick  and  faint  with  many  wrongs. 
Tired  out,  and  weary-worn  with  contume- 
lies. 
Gersa.  Poor  lady ! 


1x9 


Enter  Ethelbert. 

Erminia.  Gentle  Prince,  't  is  false  indeed. 
Good  morrow,  holy  father !  I  have  had 
Your  prayers,  though  I  look'd  for  yon  in 


vam. 


Etheibert.  Blessings  upon  you,  daughter ! 
Sure  you  look 
Too  cheerful  for  these  foul  pernicious  days. 
Young  man,  you  heard  this  virgin  say  't  was 

false, — 
'Tis  false,  I  say.    What!    can  you  not 

employ 
Your  temper  elsewhere,  'mong  those  burly 

tente, 
But  you  must  taunt  this  dove,  for  she  hath 

lost 
The  Eagle  Otho  to  beat  off  assault  ? 
Fie !    Fie  !    But  I  will  be  her  guard  my- 
self, 130 
I'  the  Emperor's  name.    I  here  demand 
Herself,  and  all  her  sisterhood.    She  false  I 
Gersa.  Peace  I  peace,  old  man  !    I  can- 
not think  she  is. 
Ethelbert.  Whom  I  have  known  from  her 
first  infancy. 
Baptized  her  in  the  bosom  of  the  Church, 
Wateh'd  her,  as  anxious  husbandmen  the 

grain, 
From  the  first  shoot  till  the  unripe  mid- 
May, 
Then  to  the  tender  ear  of  her  June  days. 
Which,  lifting  sweet  abroad  its  timid  green, 
Is  blighted  by  the  touch  of  calumny;       140 
You  cannot  credit  such  a  monstrous  tale. 
Gersa.   I  cannot.    Take  her.    Fair  Er- 
minia, 
I  follow  yon  to  Friedburg,  —  is  *t  not  so  ? 
Erminia.  Ay,  so  we  purpose. 
Ethelbert.  Daughter,  do  you  so  ? 

How 's  this  ?     I  marvel !    Yet  you  look 
not  mad. 
Erminia.  I  have  good  news  to  teU  yoo, 

Ethelbert. 
Gersa.  Ho  I  ho,  there  !    Guards ! 
Your  blessing,  father  !    Sweet  Erminia, 
Believe  me,  I  am  well  nigh  sure  — 

Erminia.  Farewell 

Short  time  will  show.  {Enter  Chiefs, 

Yes,  father  Ethelbert, 
I  have  news  precious  as  we  pass  along,    isr 
Ethelbert.  Dear  daughter,  you  shall  gnid» 

me. 
Erminia.    To  no  ilL 


SCSNSI 


OTHO  THE  GREAT 


173 


Qtna,  Commaiid  an  escort  to  the  Fried- 
bozg  lines.  \Exwani  Chief$. 

Pimj  let  me  lead.    Fair  lady,  forget  not 
Gena,  bow  he  belieTed  yon  innocent. 
I  foQow  yon  to  Friedbnrg  with  all  speed. 

[Exeunt, 

ACT   III 

Scene  I.  —  The  Country 

Enter  Albert. 

AJBberi,  O  that  the  earth  were  empty,  as 

when  Cain 
Had  no  perplexity  to  hide  his  head  ! 
Or  tint  the  sword  of  some  brave  enemy 
Had  pat  a  sadden  stop  to  my  hot  breath, 
And  hnrl'd  me  down  the  illimitable  golf 
Of  times  past,  onremember'd  !    Better  so 
Tkaa  thus  fast-limed  in  a  cnrsed  snare, 
Tkt  white  limbs  of  a  wanton.    This  the  end 
Of  aa  aspiring  life  I    My  boyhood  past 
la  fend  with  wolves  and  bears,  when  no 

eye  saw  10 

IW  solkary  war&re,  fought  for  love 
Of  hoooar  *mid  the  growling  wilderness. 
Ify  sturdier  yonth,  maturing  to  the  sword. 
Won  by  the  syren-trumpets,  and  the  ring 
Of  lUdds  upon  the  pavement,  when  bright 

mail'd 
Beny  the  Fowler  pass'd  the  streets  of 

Phigoe. 
Wai  t  to  this  end  I  louted  and  became 
He  menial  of  Mars,  and  held  a  spear 
Sei^d  by  eommand,  as  com  is  by  the 

wind? 
^  it  for  tbisy  I  now  am  lifted  up  20 

%  £0090*8  throned  Emperor,  to  see 
^  honoor  be  my  executioner,  — 
^Wve  of  fame,  my  prided  honesty 
hi  to  the  tortore  for  confessional  ? 
iWa  the  damned  crime  of  blurting  to  the 

werid 
^  Mmhi*8  seeret  I  —  Though  a  fiend  she 

bidder  of  my  ignominious  life; 
^^•a  to  wroBg  the  generous  Emperor 
*Kih  a  seaiehing  point,  were  to  give  up 


My  soul  for  foot-ball  at  Hell's  holiday  I   30 
I  must  confess,  —  and  cut  my  throat,  —  to- 
day ? 
To-morrow  ?    Ho  1  some  wine  I 

Enter  Siqifrbd. 

Sigifred,  A  fine  humour  — 

Albert.  Who  goes  there?    Count  Sigi- 
fred ?     Ha !  ha ! 
Sigifred.  What,  man,  do  yon  mistake  the 
hollow  sky 
For  a  throng'd  tavern,  —  and  these  stubbed 

trees 
For  old  serge  hangings,  —  me,  your  humble 

friend. 
For  a  poor  waiter  ?    Why,  man,  how  you 

stare! 
What  gipsies    have    you  been    carousing 

with? 
No,  no  more  wine;  methinks  you've  had 
enough.  39 

Albert.  You  well  may  laugh  and  banter. 
What  a  fool 
An  injury  may  make  of  a  staid  man  I 
You  shall  know  all  anon. 

Sigifred.  Some  tavern  brawl  ? 

Albert.  'Twas  with  some  people  out  of 
common  reach; 
Revenge  is  difficult. 

Sigifred,  I  am  your  friend; 

We  meet  again  to-day,  and  can  confer 
Upon  it.     For  the  present  I  'm  in  haste. 
Albert.  Whither? 

Sigifred.  To  fetch   King   Gersa  to  the 
feast. 
The  Emperor  on  this  marriage  is  so  hot, 
Pray  Heaven  it  end  not  in  apoplexy  ! 
The  very  porters,  as  I  pass'd  the  doors,    50 
Heard  his  loud  laugh,  and  answer'd  in  full 

choir. 
I  marvel,  Albert,  you  delay  so  long 
From  these  bright  revelries;  go,  show  your- 
self. 
You  may  be  made  a  duke. 

Albert.  Ay,  very  like: 

Pray,  what  day  has  his    Highness   fix'd 
upon? 
Sigifred.  For  what  ? 


174 


DRAMAS 


ACT  III 


Albert.  The  marriage.    What  else  can  I 

mean  ? 
Sigi/red,  To-day.   O,  I  forgot,  you  could 
not  know; 
The  news  is  scarce  a  minute  old  with  me. 
Albert,  Married  to-day  !    To-day  !    Yon 

did  not  say  so  ? 
Sigifred,  Now,  while  I  speak  to   you, 
their  comely  heads  60 

Are  bow'd  before  the  mitre. 

Albert.  O  !  monstrous  ! 

Sigifred.  What  is  this  ? 

Albert.       Nothing,  Sigifred.     Farewell  I 

We  '11  meet  upon  our  subject.    Farewell, 

count !  [^Exit. 

Sigifred,  Is  this  clear-headed   Albert  ? 

He  brain-tum'd  I 

'T  is  as  portentous  as  a  meteor.  ^Exit, 

Scene  II.  —  An  Apartment  in  the  Castle 
Enter  as  from  the  Marriage,  Otho,  Lu- 

DOLPH,     AURANTHE,     CONRAD,     NobUs, 

Knights,  Ladies,  etc.    Music. 

Otho.  Now  Ludolph !  Now,  Auranthe  ! 
Daughter  fair  I 
What  can  I  find  to  grace  your  nuptial 

day 
More  than  my  love,  and  these  wide  realms 
in  fee  ? 
Ludolph.  I  have  too  much. 
Auranthe.  And  I,  my  liege,  by  far. 

Ludolph.    Auranthe !    I  have  I    O,    my 
bride,  my  love  ! 
Not  all  the  gaze  upon  us  can  restrain 
My   eyes,  too  long  poor  exiles  from  thy 

face. 
From  adoration,  and  my  foolish  tongue 
From  uttering  soft  responses  to  the  love 
I  see  in  thy  mute  beauty  beaming  forth  !    10 
Fair  creature,  bless  me  with  a  single  word  ! 
All  mine ! 

Auranthe.  Spare,  spare  me,  my  Lord;  I 

swoon  else. 
Ludolph.  Soft  beauty  !  by  to-morrow  I 
should  die, 
Wert  thou  not  mine. 

[They  talk  apart. 


1st  Lady.    How  deep  she  has  bewitch'd 
him  I 

1st  Knight.  Ask  you  for  her  recipe  for 
love  philtres. 

2d  Lady.  They  hold  the  Emperor  in  ad- 
miration. 

Otho.  If  ever  king  was  happy,  that  am  I ! 
What  are  the  cities  'yond  the  Alps    to 

me. 
The  provinces  about  the  Danube's  mouth, 
The  promise  of  fair  sail  beyond  the  Rhone; 
Or  routing  out  of  Hyperborean  hordes,    ai 
To  these  fair  children,  stars  of  a  new  age  ? 
Unless  perchance  I  might  rejoice  to  win 
This  little  ball  of  earth,  and  chuck  it  them 
To  play  with ! 

AurarUhe.  Nay,  my  Lord,  I  do  not  know. 

Ludolph.  Let  me  not  famish. 

Otho  (to  Conrad).  Good  Franoonia, 

You  heard  what  oath  I  sware,  as  the  sun 

rose. 
That  unless  Heaven  would  send  me  back 

my  son. 
My  Arab,  —  no  soft  music  should  enrich 
The  cool  wine,  kiss'd  off  with  a  soldier's 
smack;  30 

Now  all  my  empire,  barter'd  for  one  feast. 
Seems  poverty. 

Conrad.  Upon  the  neighbour-plain 

The  heralds  have  prepared  a  royal  lists; 
Your  knights,  found  war-proof  in  the  bloody 

field, 
Speed  to  the  game. 

Otho.        Well,  Ludolph,  what  say  you  ? 

Ludolph.  My  lord  I 

Otho.  A  tourney  ? 

Conrad.  Or,  if  't  please  you  best  — 

Ludolph.  I  want  no  more  ! 

1st  Lady.  He  soars ! 

2d  Lady.  Past  all 

Ludolph.  Though  heaven's  choir 
Should  in  a  vast  circumference  descend 
And  sing  for  my  delight,  I  'd  stop  my  ears  ^ 
Though  bright  Apollo's  car  stood  burning 

here. 
And  he  put  out  an  arm  to  bid  me  mount, 
His  touch  an  immortality,  not  I ! 
This  earth,  this  palace,  this  room,  Auranthe  ^ 


SCENE  n 


OTHO   THE  GREAT 


'75 


Otko»  Thii  is  a  little  painful;  jast  too 
maeh. 
Coorad,  if  he  flames  longer  in  this  wise, 
I  shall  believe  in  wizard- woven  loves 
And  old  romaiioes;  bat  1 11  break  the  spell. 
Lodolph! 
Conrad,  He  11  be  calm,  anon. 
Litdaipk.  You  call'd  I 

Yes,  jes,  jes,  I  offend.    Yon  must  forgive 
me:  50 

Not  being  quite  recover'd  ttom  the  stun 
Of  joor  large  bounties.    A  tourney,  is  it 
not? 

[A  senet  heard  faintly, 
Conrad.    The  trumpets  reach  us. 
Etkelbert  (without).      On  your  peril,  sirs, 
Detain  osl 
ht  Voice  (withouty  Let  not  the  abbot 


id  Voice  (without).    No, 
Os  yon  lives  I 
ht  Voice   (without).    Holy   father,  you 

must  not. 
EOdbert  (without),  Otho ! 
(kh.  Who  calls  on  Otho  ? 

Ethdbert  (without),  Ethelbert ! 

(kko.  Let  him  come  in. 

Enter  Ethelbert  leading  in  Erminia. 

Thou  cursed  abbot,  why 
Halt  brought  pollution  to  our  holy  rites  ? 
Hatt  thou  no  fear  of  hangman,  or  the  fag- 
got? 
iMiolph,  What  portent  —  what  strange 
prodigy  is  this  ?  60 

Cntrad,  Away  1 

Efkdbert.  You,  Duke  ? 

Erwonia.       Albert  has  surely  fail'd  me  I 
I^  at  the   Emperor's    brow   upon   me 
bent! 
SAdbert,  A  sad  delay  ! 
Coanicf.  Away,  thou  guilty  thing  I 

SAdbert,  Yon    again,    Duke?    Justice, 
■KMt  noble  Otho ! 
m— go  to  your  sister  there  and  plot 

•giin, 
A  foA  plot,  swift  as  thought  to  save  your 


For  lo !  the  toils  are  spread  around  your 

den, 
The  world  is  all  agape  to  see  dragg'd  forth 
Two  ugly  monsters. 

Ludolph,  What  means  he,  my  lord  ? 

Conrad,  I  cannot  guess. 
Ethelbert,  Best  ask  your  lady  sister, 

Whether  the  riddle  puzzles  her  beyond    71 
The  power  of  utterance. 

Conrad,  Foul  barbarian,  cease; 

The  Princess  faints  ! 

Ludolph,    Stab  him  !    O,  sweetest  wife  ! 
[Attendants  bear  ojf  Auranthe. 
Erminia,  Alas ! 
Ethelbert.  Your  wife ! 

Ludolph.    Ay,  Satan  I  does  that  yerk  ye  ? 
Ethelbert.  Wife  I  so  soon  ! 
Ludolph.       Ay,  wife  !     Oh,  impudence  ! 
Thou    bitter    mischief  I      Venomous    bad 

priest  I 
How  dar'st  thou  lift  those  beetle  brows  at 

me? 
Me  —  the  prince  Ludolph,  in  this  presence 
here,  78 

Upon  my  marriage  day,  and  scandalize 
My  joys  with  such  opprobrious  surprise  ? 
Wife  !     Why  dost  linger  on  that  syllable. 
As  if  it  were  some   demon's   name   pro- 
nounced 
To  summon  harmful  lightning,  and  make 

yawn 
The  sleepy   thunder?     Hast  no  sense   of 

fear? 
No  ounce  of  man  in  thy  mortality  ? 
Tremble  !  for,  at  my  nod,  the  sharpened  axe 
Will  make  thy  bold  tongue  quiver  to  the 

roots, 
Those  gray  lids  wink,  and  thou  not  know 
it,  monk  ! 
Ethelbert.  O,  poor  deceived   Prince !    I 
pity  thee  !  89 

Great  Otho  I  I  claim  justice  — 

Ludolph.  Thou  shalt  have 't ! 

Thine  arms  from  forth  a  pulpit  of  hot  fire 
Shall  sprawl  distracted  !     O  that  that  dull 

cowl 
Were  some  most  sensitive  portion  of  thy 
life. 


176 


DRAMAS 


ACT  III 


That  I  might  give  it  to  my  hoands  to  tear  I 

Thy  girdle  some  fine  zealous-pained  nerve 

To  g^h  my  saddle  I    And  those  devil's 
beads 

Each  one  a  life,  that  I  might,  every  day, 

Crush  one  with  Vnlcan's  hammer  I 
Otho.  Peace,  my  son  ; 

You  far  outstrip  my  spleen  in  this  affair. 

Let  us  be  calm,  and  hear  the  abbot's  plea 

For  this  intrusion. 
Lttdolph,  I  am  silent,  sire. 

Otho,  Conrad,  see  all  depart  not  wanted 
here.  loa 

lEzeunt  Knights^  Ladies^  etc. 

Lndolph,  be  calm.  Ethelbert,  peace  awhile. 

This  mystery  demands  an  audience 

Of  a  just  judge,  and  that  will  Otho  be. 
Ludolph,  Why  has  he  time  to  breathe 

another  word  ? 
Otho.  Ludolph,  old  Ethelbert,  be  sure, 
comes  not 

To  beard  us  for  no  cause;  he's  not  the 
man 

To  cry  himself  up  an  ambassador 

Without  credentials. 
Ludolph.  1 11  chain  up  myself. 

Otho.  Old  abbot,  stand  here  forth.    Lady 
Erminia,  m 

Sit.     And  now,  abbot !  what  have  you  to 
say? 

Our  ear  is  open.     First  we  here  denounce 

Hard  penalties  against  thee,  if 't  be  found 

The  cause  for  which  you  have  disturb'd  us 
here, 

Making  our  bright  hours  muddy,  be  a  thing 

Of  little  moment. 
Ethelbert.  See  this  innocent ! 

Otho !  thou  father  of  the  people  call'd. 

Is  her  life  nothing  ?     Her  fair  honour  no- 
thing? 

Her  tears  from  matins  until  even-song     lao 

Nothing  ?   Her  burst  heart  nothing  ?  Em- 
peror ! 

Is  this  your  gentle  niece  —  the  simplest 
flower 

Of    the  world's    herbal  —  this    fair    lily 
blanch' d 

Still  with  the  dews  of  piety,  this  meek  lady 


Here  sitting  like  an  angel  newly-shent, 
Who  veils  its  snowy  wings  and  grows  all 

pale,— 
Is  she  nothing  ? 

Otho.  What  more  to  the  purpose,  abbot  ? 

Ludolph.  Whither  is  he  winding  ? 

Conrad.  No  clue  yet  I 

Ethelbert.  You  have  heard,  my  Liege,  and 

so,  no  doubt,  all  here,  129 

Foul,  poisonous,  malignant  whisperings; 

Nay  open  speech,   rude  mockery  grown 

common. 
Against  the  spotless  nature  and  clear  fame 
Of  the  princess  Erminia,  your  niece. 
I  have  intruded  here  thus  suddenly. 
Because  I  hold  those  base  weeds,  with  tight 

hand. 
Which  now  disfigure  her  fair  growing  stem. 
Waiting  but  for  your  sign  to  puU  them  up 
By  the  dark  roots,  and  leave  her  palpable. 
To  all  men's  sight,  a  lady  innocent. 
The  ignominy  of  that  whisper'd  tale        140 
About  a  midnight  gallant,  seen  to  climb 
A  window  to    her  chamber    neighbour'd 

near, 
I  will  from  her  turn  off,  and  put  the  load 
On  the  right  shoulders;  on  that  wretch's 

head. 
Who,  by  close   stratagems,  did  save  her- 
self. 
Chiefly  by  shifting  to  this  lady's  room 
A  rope-ladder  for  false  witness. 

Ludolph.  Most  atrocious  I 

Otho.  Ethelbert,  proceed. 
Ethelbert.  With  sad  lips  I  shall: 

For,  in  the  healing  of  one  wound,  I  fear 
To  make  a  greater.     His  young  highness 
here  150 

To-day  was  married. 
Ludolph.  Grood. 

Ethelbert.  Would  it  were  good  ! 

Yet  why  do  I  delay  to  spread  abroad 
The  names  of  those  two  vipers,  from  whose 

jaw 
A  deadly  breath  went  forth  to  taint  and 

blast 
This  guileless  lady  ? 

Otho.  Abbot,  speak  their  namea 


u 


OTHO  THE  GREAT 


177 


EtkdberL  A  minate  fint.    It  cannot  be 
—  Imtnuij 
laak,  great  judge,  if  joa  to-daj  have  put 
A  ktter  by  nniead  ? 
OAa,  Does 't  end  in  this  ? 

Conrad.  Oat  with  their  names  ! 
Etkdbert  Bold  sinner,  saj  jon  so  ? 

iMdolpk,  Onty  hideous  monk  ! 
Oiko.  Confess,  or  by  the  wheel  — 

Elkdbert    My  eyidence  cannot  be  far 
away;  x6i 

Aad,  thoogh  it  never  come,  be  on  my  head 
Ike  crime  of  passing  an  attaint  upon 
The  sbnderers  of  this  virgin. 
Lmiolfk.  Speak  aloud ! 

BUMerL    Auranthe,    and    her  brother 

there. 
CoHrad.         Amaze  1 
liMpk.  Throw  them   from    the    win- 
dows I 
(kka.  Bo  what  you  wiU  I 
Isdo^       What  shall  I  do  with  them  ? 
8«Mithing  of  quick  dispatch,  for  should  she 


Mj  loft  Anranthe,  her  sweet  mercy  would 
hvnSl  against  my  f ory.    Damned  priest  I 
Wkt  swift  death wUt  thou  die?  As  to  the 
l«dy,  171 

Ilooehber  not 

BAdbert.  Dlnstrious  Otho,  stay  I 

Ai  aaq»le  store  of  misery  thou  hast, 
CWke  not  the  granary  of  thy  noble  mind 
Wilh  more  bad  bitter  grain,  too  difficult 
Aead  for  the  repentance  of  a  man 
6ttj-growing.    To  thee  only  I  appeal, 
Vol  to  thy  noble  son,  whose  yeasting  youth 
WiQ  elear  itself,  and  crystal  turn  again. 
A  jong  man's  heart,  by  Heaven's  bless- 
ing, is  180 
A  vide  world,  where  a  thousand  new-bom 

hopes 
Ittpnple  fresh  the  melancholy  blood  : 
ait  aa  old  man's  is.  narrow,  tenantless 
^  kspsa,  and  staff  'd  with  many  memories, 
^U,  being   pleasant,  ease    the    heavy 

poise  — 
AaifBl,  elog  op  and  stagnate.    Weigh  this 


Even  as  a  miser  balances  his  coin; 

And,  in  the  name  of  mercy,  give  command 

That  your  knight  Albert  be  brought  here 

before  you.  189 

He  will  expound  this  riddle;  he  will  show 
A  noon-day  proof  of  bad  Auranthe's  guilt. 
Otho.  Let  Albert  straight  be  summon'd. 

[Exit  one  of  the  Nobles. 
Ludolph,  Impossible ! 

I    cannot    doubt  —  I  will    not  —  no  —  to 

doubt 
Is  to  be  ashes !  —  wither'd  up  to  death  ! 
Otho,  My  gentle  Ludolph,  harbour  not  a 

fear; 
You  do  yourself  much  wrong. 

Ludolph,  O,  wretched  dolt  I 

Now,  when  my  foot  is  almost  on  thy  neck, 
WUt  thou  infuriate  me?  Proof  I  Thou  fool  1 
Why  wilt  thou  tease  impossibility  199 

With  such  a  thick-sknll'd  persevering  suit  ? 
Fanatic  obstinacy  I     Prodigy  ! 
Monster    of    folly !    Ghost    of    a    tum'd 

brain  I 
You  puzzle  me,  —  you  haunt  me,  —  when  I 

dream 
Of  you  my  brain  will  split  !    Bold  sor- 
cerer I 
Juggler !     May  I  come  near  you  ?    On  my 

soul 
I  know  not  whether  to    pity,  curse,   or 

laugh. 

Enter  Albert,  and  the  Nobleman, 

Here,  Albert,  this  old  phantom  wants  a 
proof ! 

Give  him  his  proof !     A  camel's  load  of 
proofs! 
Otho.  Albert,  I  speak  to  you  as  a  man 

Whose  words  once  utter'd  pass  like  current 
gold;  a  10 

And  therefore  fit  to  calmly  put  a  close 

To  this  brief  tempest.     Do  you  stand  pos- 
sess'd 

Of  any  proof  against  the  honourableness 

Of  Lady  Auranthe,  our  new-spoused  daugh- 
ter? 
Albert.  You  chill  me  with  astonishment. 
How 's  this  ? 


178 


DRAMAS 


ACT  III 


M  J  liege,  what  proof  should  I  have  'gainst 

a  fame 
Impossible  of  slur  ? 

[Otho  rises, 
Erminia,  O  wickedness  I 

Ethelbert.  Deluded  monarch, 'tis  a  cruel 
lie.  218 

Otho,  Peace,  rebel-priest  I 
Conrad.  Insult  beyond  credence  ! 

Erminia.  Almost  a  dream  I 
Ludolph.  We  have  awaked  from  I 

A  foolish  dream  that  from  my  brow  hath 

wrung 
A  wrathful  dew.     O  folly  !  why  did  I 
So  act  the  lion  with  this  silly  g^t  ? 
Let  them  depart.     Lady  Erminia  I 
I  ever  grieved  for  you,  as  who  did  not  ? 
But  now  you  have,  with  such  a  brazen 

front, 
So  most  maliciously,  so  n;iadly  striven 
To  dazzle  the  soft  moon,  when  tenderest 

clouds 
Should  be  unloop'd  around  to  curtain  her; 
I  leave  you  to  the  desert  of  the  world     230 
Almost  with  pleasure.     Let  them  be  set 

free 
For  me  I     I  take  no  personal  revenge 
More  than  against  a  nightmare,  which  a 

man 
Forgets  in  the  new  dawn.    \_Exit  Ludolph. 
Otho.  Still  in  extremes  !     No,  they  must 

not  be  loose. 
Ethelbert.  Albert,  I  must  suspect  thee  of 
a  crime 
So  fiendish  — 

Otho.     Fear'st  thou  not  my  fury,  monk  ? 
Conrad,  be  they  in  your  safe  custody 
Till  we  determine  some  fit  punishment.  240 
It  is  so  mad  a  deed,  I  must  reflect 
And   question   them  in  private;   for  per- 
haps. 
By  patient  scrutiny,  we  may  discover 
Whether  they  merit  death,  or  should  be 

placed 
In  care  of  the  physicians. 

lExeunt  Otho   and   Nobles,  Albert 
following. 


Conrad.  My  guards,  ho  I 
Erminia.  Albert,  wilt  thou  follow  there  ? 
Wilt  thou  creep  dastardly  behind  his  back, 
And  shrink  away  from  a  weak  woman's 

eye? 
Turn,  thou  court  -  Janus  I  thou  f  orgett'st 

thyself; 
Here    is    the    duke,    waiting    with    open 
arms. 

Enter  Guards. 
To  thank  thee;    here    congratulate  each 
other;  250 

Wring  hands;  embrace;  and  swear  how 

lucky  't  was 
That  I,  by  happy  chance,  hit  the  right 

man 
Of  all  the  world  to  trust  in. 
Albert.  Trust  I  to  me  I 

Conrad  (aside).  He  is  the  sole  one  in  this 

mystery. 
Erminia.  Well,  I  give  up,  and  save  my 
prayers  for  Heaven  I 
You,  who  could  do  this  deed,  would  ne'er 

relent. 
Though,  at  my  words,  the  hollow  prison- 
vaults 
Would  groan  for  pity. 

Conrad.  Manacle  them  both  I 

Ethelbert.  I  know  it  —  it  must  be  —  I 
see  it  all !  259 

Albert,  thou  art  the  minion  I 

Erminia.  Ah  !  too  plain  — 

Conrad.  Silence  !    Gag  up  their  mouths  I 
I  cannot  bear 
More  of  this  brawling.    That  the  Emperor 
Had  placed  you  in  some  other  custody  ! 
Bring  them  away. 

[Exeunt  all  but  Albert. 
Albert.  Though   my  name   perish   from 
the  book  of  honour, 
Almost  before  the  recent  ink  is  dry. 
And  be  no  more  remember' d  after  death, 
Than  any  drummer's  in  the  muster-roll; 
Tet  shall  I  season  high  my  sudden  fall    269 
With  triumph  o'er  that  evil-witted  duke ! 
He  shall  feel  what  it  is  to  have  the  hand 
Of  a  man  drowning,  on  his  hateful  throat. 


SCENE  I 


OTHO  THE  GREAT 


179 


Enter  Gkrsa  and  Siqifred. 
Cfena.  What  disoord  is  at  ferment  in 

this  boose? 
Sigifired,  We  are  without  conjeotore;  not 
aaoiil 
We  met  could  answer  any  certainty. 
Gtnci.  Young  Ludolph,  like  a  fiery  ar- 
row, shot 
Bjns. 
Sigifrtd.    The    Emperor,    with    cross'd 

arms,  in  thought. 
Gena.  In  one  room  music,  in  another 
sadness. 
Perplexity  every  where  I 

AJhert,  A  trifle  more  ! 

FoUow ;  your  presences  will  much  avail  280 
To  tone  our  jarred  spirits.    I  '11  explain. 

[Exeunt, 

ACT   IV 
ScEXE  I.  —  Avranthe's  Apartmen/ 

AuEAKTHE  and  Conrad  discovered. 

Ommd,  Well,  well,  I  know  what  ugly 
jeopardy 
^t  ire  caged  in;  you  need  not  pester  that 
lito  my  ears.     Pr'y thee,  let  me  be  spared 
A  foolish  tongue,  that  I  may  bethink  me 
Of  remedies  with  some  deliberation. 
Tott  cannot   doubt    but  'tis    in  Albert's 

power 
To  enish  or  save  us  ? 

Awantke.  No,  I  cannot  doubt, 

fie  kM,  assure  yourself,  by  some  strange 


Mt  leeret;  which  I  ever  hid  from  him,      9 
^Mwing  his  mawkish  honesty. 

CWotf.  Cursed  slave ! 

Aunmtke.  Ay,  I  could  almost  curse  him 
now  myself, 
^idehed  impediment !    Evil  genius  I 
A  sine  upon  my  wings,  that  cannot  spread, 
^hm  they  should  span  the  provinces  I    A 


A  Motpion,  sprawling  on  the  first  gold 

step, 
rtwdiMiling  to  the  throne,  high  canopied. 


Conrad.  You  would  not  hear  my  counsel, 
when  his  life 

Might  have  been  trodden  out,  all  sure  and 
hush'd; 

Now  the  dull  animal  forsooth  must  be 

Intreated,  managed  !    When  can  you  con- 
trive 20 

The  interview  he  demands  ? 

Auranthe,  As  speedily 

It  must  be  done  as  my  bribed  woman  can 

Unseen  conduct  him  to  me;  but  I  fear 

'T  will  be  impossible,  while  the  broad  day 

Comes  through  the  panes  with  persecuting 
glare. 

Methinks,  if  't  now  were  night  I  could  in* 
trigue 

With  darkness,  bring  the  stars  to  second  me. 

And  settle  all  this  trouble. 

Conrad.  Nonsense  !     Child ! 

See  him  immediately;  why  not  now? 
Auranthe.  Do  you  forget  that  even  the 
senseless  door-posts  30 

Are  on  the  watch  and  gape  through  all  the 
house  ? 

How  many  whisperers  there  are  about. 

Hungry  for  evidence  to  ruin  me: 

Men  I  have  spurn'd,  and  women  I  have 
taunted  ? 

Besides,  the  foolish  prince  sends,  minute 
whiles, 

His  pages  —  so  they  tell  me  —  to  inquire 

After  my  health,  intreating,  if  I  please, 

To  see  me. 

Conrad.  Well,  suppose  this  Albert  here; 

What  is  your  power  with  him  ? 

Auranthe.  He  should  be 

My  echo,  my  taught  parrot  I  but  I  fear   40 

He  will  be  cur  enough  to  bark  at  me; 

Have  his  own  say;  read  me  some  silly  creed 

'Bout  shame  and  pity. 

Conrad.  What  will  you  do  then  ? 

Auranthe.  What  I  shall  do,  I  know  not; 
what  I  would 

Cannot  be  done;    for  see,  this  chamber- 
floor 

Will  not  yield  to  the  pick-axe  and  the 
spade, — 

Here  is  no  quiet  depth  of  hollow  ground. 


i8o 


DRAMAS 


ACTir 


Conrad.  Sister,  you  have  grown  sensible 
and  wise, 
Seconding,  ere  I  speak  it,  what  is  now,     49 
I  hope,  resolyed  between  us. 
Auranthe,  Say,  what  is  't  ? 

Conrad.  You  need  not  be  his  sexton  too; 
a  man 
May  carry  that  with  him  shall  make  him 

die 
Elsewhere,  —  give  that  to  him;   pretend 

the  while 
Ton  will  to-morrow  succumb  to  his  wishes, 
Be  what  they  may,  and  send  him  from  the 

Castle 
On  some  fool's  errand:  let  his  latest  g^roan 
Frighten  the  wolves ! 
Auranthe.  Alas  !  he  must  not  die  1 

Conrad.  Would  you  were  both  hearsed 
up  in  stifling  lead  ! 
Detested  — 
Auranthe.  Conrad,  hold  I    I  would  not 
bear  59 

The  little  thunder  of  your  fretful  tongue, 
Tho'  I  alone  were  taken  in  these  toils, 
And  you  could  free  me;  but  remember, 

sir, 
Tou  live  alone  in  my  security: 
So  keep  your  wits  at  work,  for  your  own 

sake. 
Not  mine,  and  be  more  mannerly. 

Conrad.  Thou  wasp ! 

If  my  domains  were  emptied  of  these  folk, 
And  I  had  thee  to  starve  — 

Auranthe.  O,  marvellous ! 

But  Conrad,  now  be  gone;    the  Host  is 

look'd  for; 
Cringe  to  the  Emperor,  entertain  the  Lords, 
And,  do  ye  mind,  above  all  things,  pro- 
claim 70 
My  sickness,  with  a  brother's  sadden'd  eye. 
Condoling  with  Prince   Ludolph.     In  fit 

time 
Return  to  me. 

Conrad.  I  leave  you  to  your  thoughts. 

Auranthe    (sola),    Down,    down,    proud 
temper  I  down,  Auranthe's  pride  ! 
Whj  do  I  anger  him  when  I  should  kneel  ? 


Conrad !  Albert !  help  !  help  I    What  cai 
I  do? 

0  wretched  woman  I  lost,  wreck'd,  8wal< 

low'd  up. 
Accursed,  blasted  !    O,  thou  golden  Crown 
Orbing  along  the  serene  firmament  7< 

Of  a  wide  empire,  like  a  glowing  moon; 
And  thou,  bright  sceptre  I  lustrous  in  m^ 

eyes, — 
There  —  as  the  fabled  fair  Hesperian  tree, 
Bearing  a  fruit  more  precious !  gracefu 

thing,         • 
Delicate,  godlike,  magic !  must  I  leave 
Thee  to  melt  in  the  visionary  air, 
Ere,  by  one  grasp,  this  common  hand  u 

made 
Imperial  ?    I  do  not  know  the  time 
When  I  have  wept  for  sorrow;  but  me- 

thinks  8f 

1  could  now  sit  upon  the  ground,  and  shed 
Tears,  tears  of  misery  I  O,  the  heavy  day  ! 
How  shall  I  bear  my  life  till  Albert  comes  'i 
Ludolph  !     Erminia  !     Proofs  !     O  heav^ 

day  I 
Bring  me  some  mourning  weeds,  that  1 

may  'tire 
Myself,  as  fits  one  wailing  her  own  death: 
Cut  off  these   curls,  and   brand   this   lilj 

hand. 
And  throw  these  jewels  from  my  loathing 

sight,  — 
Fetch  me  a  missal,  and  a  string  of  beads,  — 
A  cup  of  bitter'd  water,  and  a  crust,  — 
I  will  confess,  O  holy  Abbot !  —  How !     9^ 
What  is  this  ?    Auranthe  I  thou  fool,  dolt, 
Whimpering  idiot !  up  !  up  I  and  quell ! 
I  am  safe  !    Coward  !  why  am  I  in  fear? 
Albert  I  he  cannot  stickle,  chew  the  cud 
In  such  a  fine  extreme,  —  impossible  I 
Who  knocks  ? 

[^Goes  to  the  door,  listens,  and  opens  it 

Enter  Albert. 

Albert,  I  have  been  waiting  for  yon  here 
With  such  an  aching  heart,  such  swooning 

throbs 
On  my  poor  brain,  such  cruel — cruel  sor 

row, 


SCENE  I 


OTHO  THE  GREAT 


i8i 


That  I  should  olaim  your  pity !  Art  not 
well?  109 

Aiberi.  Yet,  lady»  welL 

Auranike,  You  look  not  so,  alas  ! 

But  pale,  as  if  yon  brought  some  heavy 


Albeit,  YoQ  know  fall  well  what  makes 

me  look  so  pale. 
Awanihe.  Ko  I     Do  I  ?     Surely  I  am 
still  to  learn 
Some  horror;  all  I  know,  this  present,  is 
I  un  near  hustled  to  a  dangerous  gulf, 
Whieh  you  ean  save  me  from,  —  and  there- 
fore safe. 
So  tmsting  in  thy  love;  that  should  not 

make 
Tliee  pale,  my  Albert. 
Albert  It  doth  make  me  freeze. 

Awantke.  Why  should  it,  love  ? 
Albert.  You  should  not  ask  me  that, 

Bttnake  your  own  heart  monitor,  and  save 
^the  great  pain  of  telling.    You  must 
know.  12  z 

AwmUke.  Something  has  vext  you,  Al- 
bert.   There  are  times 
^^ben  simplest  things  put  on  a  sombre 

east; 
Aaefauieholy  mood  will  haunt  a  man, 
Uitil  most  easy  matters  take  the  shape 
Of  oflaohievable  tasks;  small  rivulets 
TVea  seem  impassable. 

AlberL  Do  not  cheat  yourself 

^itk  hope  that  gloss  of  words,  or  suppliant 

action. 
Or  toan,  or   ravings,  or  self-threaten'd 

death. 
^  alter  my  resolve. 

Awmiike.  Yon  make  me  tremble; 

Aflt  ao  moeh  at  your  threats,  as  at  your 

wje, 
^**BMd,  and  harsh,  and  barren  of  all  love. 
AJkert  Yon  suffocate  me  I      Stop  this 
devil's  parley, 
^  litUm  to  me;  know  me  onoe  for  all. 
AwmUke.  I  tlioaght  I  did.     Alas  I     I 

smdeemved. 
AlberL  Ko^  yon  are  not  deceived.    You 
took  me  for 


129 


A  man  detesting  all  inhuman  crime; 

And  therefore  kept  from  me  your  demon's 

plot 
Against  Erminia.    Silent?    Be  so  still; 
For  ever  !    Speak  no  more;  but  hear  my 
words,  140 

Thy  fate.     Your  safety  I  have  bought  to- 
day 
By  blazoning  a  lie,  which  in  the  dawn 
1 11  expiate  with  truth. 
Auranike.  O  cruel  traitor  1 

Albert.  For  I  would  not  set  eyes  upon 
thy  shame; 
I  would  not  see  thee  dragg'd  to  death  by 

the  hair, 
Penanced,  and  taunted  on  a  scaffolding ! 
To-night,  upon  the  skirts  of  the  blind  wood 
That  blackens  northward  of  these  horrid 

towers, 
I  wait  for  you  with  horses.    Choose  your 
fate.  149 

Farewell ! 
Auranike.  Albert,  you  jest;    I'm    sure 
you  must. 
You,  an  ambitious  Soldier  !    I,  a  Queen, 
One  who  could  say,  —  here,  rule  these  Pro- 
vinces I 
Take  tribute  from  those  cities  for  thyself ! 
Empty  these  armouries,  these  treasuries, 
Muster  thy  warlike  thousands  at  a  nod  ! 
60  !     Conquer  Italy  ! 

Albert.  Auranthe,  you  have  made 

The  whole  world  chaff  to  me.     Your  doom 
bfix'd. 
Auranike.  Out,  villain  !  dastard  I 
Albert.  Look  there  to  the  door  I 

Who  is  it? 

Auranike.    Conrad,  traitor  I 

Albert.  Let  him  in. 

Enier  Conrad. 

Do  not  affect  amazement,  hypocrite,        160 
At  seeing  me  in  this  chamber. 

Conrad.  Auranthe  ? 

Albert.  Talk  not  with  eyes,  but  speak 
your  curses  out 
Against  me,  who  would  sooner  crush  and 
grind 


l82 


DRAMAS 


ACT  IV 


A  brace  of  toads,  than  league  with  them 

t'  oppress 
An  innocent  lady,  gull  an  Emperor, 
More  generous  to  me  than  autumn  sun 
To  ripeniug  harvests. 

Auranthe,  No  more  insult,  sir  ! 

Albert.  Ay,  clutch  your  scabbard;  but, 
for  prudence  sake, 
Draw  not  the  sword;  't  would  make  an  up- 
roar, Duke, 
Tou  would  not  hear  the  end  of.    At  night- 
fall 170 
Your  lady  sister,  if  I  g^ess  aright. 
Will  leave  this  busy  castle.    You  had  best 
Take  farewell  too  of  worldly  vanities. 
Conrad.  Vassal ! 

Albert,     To-morrow,  when  the  Emperor 
sends 
For  loving  Conrad,  see  you  fawn  on  him. 
Grood  even  ! 

Auranthe.  You  '11  be  seen  I 
Albert.  See  the  coast  clear  then. 

Auranthe  (as  he  goes}.  Remorseless  Al- 
bert !     Cruel,  cruel  wretch  I 

[5Ae  lets  him  out. 
Conrad.  So,  we  must  lick  the  dust  ? 
Auranthe.  I  follow  him. 

Conrad.  How  ?    Where  ?    The  plan  of 

your  escape  ? 
Auranthe.  He  waits 

For  me  with  horses  by  the  forest-side,     180 
Northward. 

Conrad.  Good,  good  I  he  dies.     You  go, 

say  you  ? 
Auranthe.  Perforce. 

Conrad.  Be  speedy,  darkness!    Till  that 
comes, 
Fiends  keep  you  company  !  [^Exit. 

Auranthe.        And  you  !     And  you  I 
And  all  men  !    Vanish  ! 

[Retires  to  an  inner  apartment. 

Scene  II.  —  An  Apartment  in  the  Castle 

Enter  Ludolph  and  a  Page. 

Page.  Still  very  sick,  my  lord;  but  now 
I  went, 
Knowing  my  duty  to  so  good  a  Prince; 


And  there  her  women,  in  a  mournful  throngs 
Stood  in  the  passage  whispering;  if  any 
Moved,  't  was  with  careful  steps,  and  hnsh'd 

as  death: 
They  bade  me  stop. 

Ludolph.  Good  fellow,  once  again 

Make  soft  inquiry;  pr'ythee,  be  not  stay'd 
By  any  hindrance,  but  with  gentlest  force 
Break  through  her  weeping  servants,  till 

thou  com'st 
E'en  to  her  chamber  door,  and  there,  fair 

boy —  lo 

If  with  thy  mother's  milk  thoa  bast  suck'd 

in 
Any  divine  eloquence  —  woo  her  ears 
With  plaints  for  me,  more  tender  than  the 

voice 
Of  dying  Echo,  echoed. 

Page.  Kindest  master  t 

To  know  thee  sad  thus,  will  unloose  my 

tongue 
In  mournful  syllables.    Let  but  my  words 

reach 
Her  ears,  and  she  shall  take  them  coupled 

with 
Moans  from  my  heart,  and  sighs  not  coun- 
terfeit. 
May  I  speed  better  !  [Exit  Page. 

Ludolph  (solus).    'Auranthe  !     My  Life  t 
Long  have  I  loved  thee,  yet  till  now  not 

loved:  20 

Remembering,  as  I  do,  hard-hearted  times 
When  I  had  heard  e'en  of  thy  death  per- 
haps, 
And  thoughtless,  suffer'd  thee  to  pass  alone 
Into  Elysium  !  —  now  I  follow  thee 
A  substance  or  a  shadow,  wheresoe'er 
Thou  leadest  me,  —  whether  thy  white  feet 

press. 
With  pleasant  weight,  the  amorous-aching 

earth, 
Or  thro'  the  air  thou  pioneerest  me, 
A  shade  !    Yet  sadly  I  predestinate  ! 
O  unbenignest  Love,  why  wilt  thou  let      30 
Darkness  steal  out  upon  the  sleepy  world 
So  wearily;  as  if  night's  chariot- wheels 
Were  dogg'd  in  some  thick  cloud  ?    O, 

changeful  Love, 


SCENE  II 


OTHO   THE  GREAT 


183 


Let  not  ber  steeds  with  drowsy-footed  pace 
?us  the  high  stars,  before  sweet  embas- 


Comes  from  the  pillow'd  beauty  of  that 

fair 
Completion  of  all  delicate  Nature's  wit  I 
Poat  her  faint    lips    anew  with    rubious 

health; 
And,  with    thine   infant  fingers,   lift   the 

fringe 
Of  her  sick  eyelids;  that  those  eyes  may 
glow  40 

With  wooing  light  upon  me,  ere  the  Mom 
Peers  with    disrelish,  gray,  barren,   and 
cdd! 

Enter  Gebsa  and  Courtiers, 

Otho  ealls  me  his  Lion  —  should  I  blush 
To  be  10  tamed  ?  so  — 

Gerta.  Do  me  the  courtesy, 

Gentlemen,  to  pass  on. 
Ut  Knight.  We  are  your  servants. 

[^Exeunt  Courtiers, 
Lndolph,  It  seems  then.  Sir,  you  have 
found  out  the  man 
Too  would  confer  with;  —  me  ? 

Gersa.  If  I  break  not 

Teo  moeh  upon  your  thoughtful  mood,  I 

will 
C^uoi  a  brief  while  your  patience. 

IfMpk,  For  what  cause 

^*er,  I  shall  be  honour'd. 

Gtm,  I  not  less. 

Iftdolpk.  What   may  it  be  ?     No  trifle 

can  take  place  51 

^  neh  delibento  prologue,  serious  'hav- 

ionr. 
^  be  it  what  it  may,  I  cannot  fail 
^brten  with  no  common  interest; 
fit  though  so  new  your  presence  is  to 

me, 
^«ve  a  sddier's  friendship  for  your  fame. 
'W  yoQ  explain. 

Goto,  As  thos:  —  for,  pardon  me, 

^*»>ot  in  plain  terms  grossly  assault 
^Mblo  oatore;  and  would  faintly  sketch 
^^  your  qoiek  apprehension  will  fill  up; 
^My  I  esteem  yon. 


Ludolph.  I  attend.  61 

Gersa.  Your  generous  father,  most  illus- 
trious Otho, 
Sits  in  the  banquet-room  among  his  chiefs; 
His  wine  is  bitter,  for  you  are  not  there; 
His  eyes  are  fix'd  still  on  the  open  doors, 
And  ev'ry  passer  in  he  frowns  upon. 
Seeing  no  Ludolph  comes. 
Ludolph,  I  do  neglect  — 

Gersa,  And  for  your  absence  may  I  g^ess 

the  cause  ? 
Ludolph,    Stay   there  I      No  —  guess  ? 

More  princely  you  must  be  69 

Than  to  make  guesses  at  me.  'T  is  enough. 
I  ^m  sorry  I  can  hear  no  more. 

Gersa,  And  I 

As  grieved  to  force  it  on  you  so  abrupt; 
Yet,  one  day,  you  must  know  a  grief,  whose 

sting 
Will  sharpen   more   the   longer  'tis  con- 

ceard. 
Ludolph.  Say   it  at  once,   sir !    dead  — 

dead  —  is  she  dead  ? 
Gersa.  Mine  is  a  cruel  task:  she  is  not 

dead, 
And  would,  for  your  sake,  she  were  inno- 
cent — 
Ludolph,  Thou  liest !     Thou  amazest  me 

beyond 
All  scope  of  thought,  convulsest  my  heart's 

blood  79 

To  deadly  churning  !  Gersa,  you  are  young. 
As  I  am;  let  me  observe  you,  face  to  face: 
Not  gray-brow'd  like  the  poisonous  Ethel- 

bert, 
No  rheumed  eyes,  no  furrowing  of  age. 
No  wrinkles,  where  all  vices  nestle  in 
Like  crannied  vermin  —  no  I  but  fresh  and 

young. 
And  hopeful  featured.     Ha  I  by  Heaven 

you  weep 
Tears,  human  tears  !     Do  you  repent  you 

then 
Of  a  cursed  torturer's  office  ?  Why  shouldst 

join  — 
Tell  me,  the  league  of  devils  ?    Confess  -^ 

confess  — 
The  Lie ! 


i84 


DRAMAS 


ACT  V 


Oersa.    Lie  I  —  but  begone  all  oeremo- 

nioas  points  90 

Of  honour  battailous  I    I  could  not  turn 
My  wrath  against  thee  for  the  orbed  world. 
Ludolph.  Your  wrath,  weak  boy  ?  Trem- 
ble at  mine,  unless 
detraction  follow  close  upon  the  heeb 
Of  that  late  stounding  insult  I    Why  has 

my  sword 
Not  done  already  a  sheer  judgment  on 

thee? 
Despair,  or  eat  thy  words  I    Why,  thou 

wast  nigh 
Whimpering  away  my  reason !     Hark  ye, 

Sir, 
It  is  no  secret,  that  Erminia, 
Erminia,  Sir,  was  hidden  in  your  tent;    100 
O  blessed  asylum  I     Comfortable  home  ! 
Begone  I    I  pity  thee;  thou  art  a  gull, 
Erminia's  last  new  puppet  I 

Gersa.  Furious  fire  I 

Thou  mak'st  me  boil  as  hot  as  thou  canst 

flame  I 
And  in  thy  teeth  I  give  thee  back  the  lie  I 
Thou  liest  I     Thou,   Auranthe's  fool  I    A 

wittol  — 
Ludolph,    Look  I    look    at    this   bright 

sword: 
There  is  no  part  of  it,  to  the  very  hilt. 
But  shall  indulge  itself  about  thine  heart  I 
Draw  I  but  remember  thou  must  cower  thy 

plumes,  no 

As  yesterday  the  Arab  made  thee  stoop  — 
Gersa.    Patience  I     Not  here;   I  would 

not  spill  thy  blood 
Here,  underneath  this  roof  where  Otho 

breathes,  — 
Thy  father,  —  almost  mine. 
Ludolph.  O  faltering  coward  I 

Re-enter  Page. 

Stay,  stay ;  here  is  one  I  have  half  a  word 

with. 
Well  —  What  ails  thee,  chUd  ? 

Page.  My  lord ! 

Ludolph.  Good  fellow  I 

Page.  They  are  fled  I 

Ludolph.  They  I    Who  ? 


Page.  When  anxiously 

I  hasten'd  back,  your  grieving  messenger, 
I  found  the  stairs  all  dark,  the  lamps  ex- 
tinct. 
And  not  a  foot  or  whisper  to  be  heard,    xso 
I  thought  her  dead,  and  on  the  lowest  step 
Sat  listening;  when  presently  came  by 
Two  mufiQed  up,  —  one  sighing  heayily. 
The  other  cursing  low,  whose  voice  I  knew 
For  the  Duke  Conrad's.    Close  I  followed 

them 
Thro'  the  dark  ways  they  chose  to  the  open 

air; 
And,  as  I  followed,  heard  my  lady  speak. 
Ludolph,  Thy  life  answers  the  truth  I 
Page.  The  chamber 's  empty ! 

Ludolph.  As  I  will  be  of  mercy  I    So,  at 
last,  139 

This  nail  is  in  my  temples  ! 

Oersa.  Be  calm  in  this. 

Ludolph.  I  am. 

Gersa.    And  Albert  too  has  disappear'd; 
Ere  I  met  you,  I  sought  him  every  where; 
Tou  would  not  hearken. 

Ludolph.       Which  way  went  they,  boy  ? 
Gersa.  1 11  hunt  with  you. 
Ludolph.        No,  no,  no.    My  senses  are 
Still  whole.     I  have  survived.     My  arm  b 

strong  — 
My  appetite  sharp  —  for  revenge  I   1 11  no 

sharer 
In  my  feast;  my  injury  is  all  my  own. 
And  so  b  my  revenge,  my  lawful  chat- 
tels! 
Terrier,  ferret  them  out  I    Bum  —  bum 

the  witch  I 
Trace  me  their  footsteps  I    Away  I  140 

[Exeunt. 

ACT   V 
Scene  I.  —  A  part  of  the  Forest 

Enter  Conrad  and  Auranthe. 

Auranthe.  €ro    no  further;    not  a  step 
more.    Thou  art 
A  master-plague  in  the  midst  of  miseries. 
Gro,  —  I  fear  thee  I    I  tremble  every  limb, 


SCEVBII 


OTHO  THE  GREAT 


185 


Wbo  ie?er  ahook  before.    There 's  moody 

death 
Ii  tkj  molved  looks  I    Yes,  I  could  kneel 
To  fOLj  thee    fur   away  I    Conrad,   go  I 

gol- 
Then  I  jonder  underneath  the  boughs  I  see 
Onrknaeil 
Cmrad.  A  j,  and  the  man. 
AwrofUke*  Tes,  he  is  there. 

60,  go,— no  blood  I  no  blood !  —  go,  gen- 
tle Conrad ! 
Conrad.  Farewell  I 

Awramke.  Farewell  I    For  this  Heaven 
pardon  you  I  10 

lExU  AURANTHE. 

Cmmd,  If  he  surriye  one  hour,  then 
may  I  die 
Ii  unnagined  tortures,  or  breathe  through 
A  long  life  in  the  foulest  sink  o'  the  world  I 
He  diet  I    T  is  well  she  do  not  advertise 
lU  Mitiff  of  the  oold  steel  at  his  back. 

lExit  Conrad. 

Enter  Ludolph  and  Page, 

LMpL  Miss'd  the  way,  boy  ?    Say  not 

tliat  on  your  peril  I 
P^e.    Indeed,  indeed    I  cannot  trace 

them  further. 
^•Mpi.  Must  I  stop  here  ?    Here  soli- 
tary die? 
^tifcd  beneath  the  thick  oppressive  shade 
^tkie  dull  boughs,  —  this  oven  of  dark 
thiekets,  —  so 

fct, —  without  reyenge  ?  —  pshaw  !  — 

bitter  end,  — 
Alitker  death,  —  a  suffocating  death,  — 
AgMwing  —  silent  —  deadly,  quiet  death  I 
^Kiped?  — fled  ?— vanished  ?  melted  into 

air? 
^'igmie  I    I  cannot  clutch  her  I  no  re- 
venge I 
^**flkd  death,  ensnared  in  horrid  silence  I 
jj^dto  my  graye  amid  a  dreamy  calm ! 
^vheie  is  that  illustrious  noise  of  war, 
^  ttiother  up  this  sound  of  labouring 
bteath,  39 

^nstleof  thetreesi 

[AuRAHTHX  ihrieki  eU  a  distance. 


Page.  My  lord,  a  noise  I 

This  way  —  hark  I 

Ludolph.  Tes,  yes  I  A  hope  I  A  music  I 
A  glorious  clamour  I    How  I  live  again  ! 

[^Exeunt. 

Scene  II.  —  Another  part  of  the  Forest 

Enter  Albert  (wounded). 

Albert.  O  I  for  enough  life  to  support  me 
on 
To  Otho's  feet  I 

Enter  Ludolph. 

Ludclpk.       Thrice  villanous,  stay  there  I 
Tell  me  where  that  detested  woman  is, 
Or  this  is  through  thee  I 

Albert.  My  good  Prince,  with  me 

The  sword  has  done  its  worst;  not  without 

worst 
Done  to  another,  —  Conrad  has  it  home  — 
I  see  you  know  it  all  — 

Ludolph.  Where  is  his  sister  ? 

Enter  Auranthe. 

Auranthe.  Albert  I 

Ludolph.  Ha  I    There  I  there  I  —  He  is 
the  paramour !  — 
There  —  hug  him  —  dying  I    O,  thou  inno- 
cence. 
Shrine  him  and   comfort  him  at  his  last 


gasPi 


10 


Kiss  down  his  eyelids  I    Was  he  not  thy 

love? 
Wilt  thou  forsake  him  at  his  latest  hour  ? 
Keep  fearful  and  aloof  from  his  last  gaze. 
His  most  uneasy  moments,  when  cold  death 
Stands  with  the  door  ajar  to  let  him  in  ? 

Albert.  O  that  that  door  with  hollow  slam 
would  close 
Upon  me  sudden,  for  I  cannot  meet, 
In  all  the  unknown  chambers  of  the  dead, 
Such  horrors  — 

Ludolph.  Auranthe  !  what  can  he  mean  ? 
What  horrors  ?    Is  it  not  a  joyous  time  ? 
Am  I  not  married  to  a  paragon 
'  Of  personal  beauty  and  untainted  soul  ? ' 
A  blushing  fair-eyed  purity  ?    A  sylph. 


at 


z86 


DRAMAS 


ACT  V 


Whose  snowy  timid  hand  has  never  sinn'd 

Beyond  a  flower  pluck'd,  white  as  itself  ? 

Alhert,  you  do  insult  my  bride  —  your  mis- 
tress— 

To  talk  of  horrors  on  our  wedding-night  I 
Albert.  Alas  I  poor  Prince,  I  would  yon 
knew  my  heart ! 

T  is  not  so  guUty — 
LxtdoLph.        Hear,  he  pleads  not  guilty  I 

Tou  are  not  ?  or,  if  so,  what  matters  it  ? 

You  have  escaped  me,  free  as  the  dusk 
air,  31 

Hid  in  the  forest,  safe  from  my  revenge; 

I  cannot  catch  you  I    You  should  laugh  at 
me. 

Poor  cheated  Ludolph  I    Make  the  forest 
hiss 

With  jeers  at  me  I    You  tremble;  faint  at 
once, 

You  will  come  to  again.    O  cockatrice, 

I  have  you  I    Whither  wander  those  fair 
eyes 

To  entice  the  Devil  to  your  help,  that  he 

May  change  you  to  a  spider,  so  to  crawl 

Into  some  cranny  to  escape  my  wrath  ?   40 
Albert.  Sometimes  the  counsel  of  a  dy- 
ing man 

Doth  operate  quietly  when  his  breatli  is 
gone: 

Disjoin    those    hands  —  part  —  part  —  do 
not  destroy 

Each  other  —  forget  her  I  —  Our  miseries 

Are  equal  shared,  and  mercy  is  — 
Ludolph.  A  boon 

When  one  can  compass  it.     Auranthe,  try 

Your  oratory;  your  breath  is  not  so  hitch'd. 

Ay,  stare  for  help  I 

[Albert  groans  and  dies. 

I  There  goes  a  spotted  soul 

(Howling  in  vain  along  the  hollow  night  I 

Hear  him  !     He  calls  you  —  sweet  Auran- 
the, come  I  50 
Auranthe.  Kill  me  t 

Ludolph.  No !     What,  upon  our    mar- 
riag^night  I 

The  earth  would  shudder  at  so  foul  a  deed  I 

A  fair  bride  I    A  sweet  bride  I    An  inno- 
cent bride  I 


No  I  we  must  revel  it,  as  't  is  in  use 
In  times  of  delicate  brilliant  ceremony: 
Come,  let  me  lead  you  to  our  halls  again  I 
Nay,    linger    not ;    make    no    resistance, 

sweet;  — 
Will  yon  ?    Ah,  wretch,  thou  canst  not,  for 

I  have 
The  strength  of  twenty  lions  'gainst    a 

lamb  I 
Now  —  one   adieu    for    Albert !  —  Come 

away  I  60 

[ETseunt. 

Scene  III.  —  An  inner  Court  oftJu 

Castle 

Enter  Sigifred,  GtONFred,  and  Thxodore, 

meeting. 

Ist  Knight.  Was  ever  such  a  night  ? 

Sigifred,  What  horrors  more  ? 

Things  nnbelieved  one    hour,  so  strange 

they  are, 
The  next  hour  stamps  with  credit. 

1st  Knight.  Your  last  news  ? 

Gonfred.  After  the  Page's  story  of  the 
death 
Of  Albert  and  Duke  Conrad  ? 

Sigifred.  And  the  return 

Of  Ludolph  with  the  Princess. 

Gonfred.  No  more,  save 

Prince  Gersa's  freeing  Abbot  £thelbert, 
And  the  sweet  lady,  fair  Erminia, 
From  prison. 

1st  Knight.  Where  are  they  now  ?    Hast 
yet  heard  ? 

Gonfred.  With  the  sad  Emperor  they 
are  closeted;  10 

I  saw  the  three  pass  slowly  up  the  stairs. 
The  lady  weeping,  the  old  Abbot  cowl'd. 

Sigifred.  What  next? 

1st  Knight.         I  ache  to  think  on 't. 

Gonfred.  T  is  with  fate. 

1st  Knight.  One  while  these  proud  towers 
are  hush'd  as  death. 

Gonfred.  The  next  our  poor  Prince  fills 
the  arched  rooms 
With  ghastly  ravings. 

Sigifred.  1  do  fear  his  brain. 


SCINE  IV 


OTHO  THE  GREAT 


187 


Gmfred,  I  will  lee  more.    Bear  yoa  so 
stootabeart? 

[ExewfU  into  the  Castle, 

Scene  IV.  —  A  Cabinet^  opening  towards 

a  terrace 

Otbo,  Erminia,  Ethelbbrt,  and  a  Phy^ 
sieiarif  discovered. 

(Xka.  O,  my  poor  boy  I    My  son  I    My 
•00 1    My  Ludolph  I 
Hate  ye  no  eomfort  for  me,  ye  physioiaxiB 
Of  the  weak  body  and  soal  ? 

Etkdbert.  *T  is  not  in  medicine, 

Gtker  of  bearen  or  eartb,  to  cure,  unless 
Fit  time  be  cbosen  to  administer. 
Olio.  A  kind  forbearance,  boly  Abbot. 
Come, 
Enaiiiia;  bere,  sit  by  me,  gentle  girl; 
Gife  me  tby  hand;  bast  thou  forgiven  me  ? 
fnumta.  Would  I  were  with  the  saints 

to  pray  for  you  ! 
(kko.  Why  will  ye  keep  me  from  my 
darling  child  ?  10 

i*i|iici(ifi.  Forgive  me,  but  he  must  not 

•eetiij  face. 
Otio.  Is  then  a  Other's  countenance  a 
Gorgon? 
^  it  not  eomfort  in  it  ?    Would  it  not 
^*Hle  my  poor  boy,  cheer  him,  help  his 

qnrits? 
*^  me  embraee  him;  let  me  speak  to  him; 
^*3I!    Who  hinders  me?     Who's  Em- 
peror? 
fyfriekm,  Yoa  may  not,  Sire;  'twould 
orerwbelm  him  quite, 
l^aw  fall  of  grief  and  passionate  wrath; 
«^  heavy  a  sigh  would  kUl  him,  or  do 

wone. 
^  mit  be  saved  by  fine  contrivances ;    ao 
^  Moti  especially,  we  must  keep  clear 
^rf bis  tight  a  father  whom  he  loves; 
'v  Wrt  is  foil,  it  can  contain  no  more, 
Mdo its  roddy  office. 

AU&ert  Sage  advice; 

Vtaart  endeavour  bow  to  ease  and  slacken 
1W  tifhfc-woaiid  energies  of  his  despair, 
^■■kethem  tenser. 


Otho.  Enough  I  I  hear,  I  hear; 

Tet  you  were  about  to  advise  more,  —  I 
listen. 
Ethelbert,  This  learned  doctor  will  agree 
with  me. 
That  not  in  the  smallest  point  should  he  be 
thwarted,  30 

Or  gainsaid  by  one  word;  his  very  mo- 
tions, 
Nods,  becks,  and  hints,  should  be  obey'd 

with  care, 
Even  on  the  moment;  so  his  troubled  mind 
May  cure  itself. 
Physician.        There  are  no  other  means. 
Otho.  Open  the  door;  let 's  hear  if  all  is 

quiet. 
Physician,  Beseech  you.  Sire,  forbear. 
Ermmia.  Do,  do. 

Otho.  I  command ! 

Open  it  straight;  —  hush  I  —  quiet  I  —  my 

lost  boy  I 
My  miserable  child  I 

Ludolph  (indisHnctly  without).     Fill,  fill 

my  goblet,  —  here  's  a  health  I 
ErTninia.  O,  close  the  door  I 

Otho.  Let,  let  me  hear  his  voice;  this 
cannot  last:  39 

And  fain  would  I  catch  up  his  dying  words, 
Though  my  own  knell  they  be  I    This  can- 
not last ! 
O  let  me  catch  hb  voice  —  for  lo  I  I  hear 
This  silence  whisper  me  that  he  is  dead  I 
It  is  so  !     Gersa  ? 

Enter  Gersa. 

Physician.       Say,  how  fares  the  prince  ? 
Gersa.  More  calm;  his  features  are  less 
wild  and  flush'd; 
Once  he  complain'd  of  weariness. 

Physician.  Indeed  I 

Tis  good,  —  'tis  good;   let  him  but  fall 

asleep. 
That  saves  him. 

Otho.         Grersa,  watch  him  like  a  child; 
Ward  him  from   harm,  —  and   bring  me 
better  news  I 
Physician.  Humour  him  to  the  height. 
I  fear  to  go;  v^ 


z88 


DRAMAS 


ACT  V 


For  should  he  catch  a  glimpse  of  my  dull 

garb, 
It  might  affright  him,  fill  him  with  suspi- 
cion 
That  we  believe  him  sick,  which  must  not 

be. 
Gersa.  I  will  inyent  what  soothing  means 

I  can. 

lExU  Gersa. 
Physician.  This  should  cheer  up  your 

Highness;  weariness 
Is  a  good  symptom,  and  most  favourable; 
It  gives  me  pleasant  hopes.    Please  you, 

walk  forth 
Upon  the  terrace;  the  refreshing  air 
Will  blow  one  half  of  your  sad  doubts 

away.  ^Exeunt. 

Scene  V.  —  A  Banqueting  Hall,  bril- 
liantly illuminated^  and  set  forth  with 
all  costly  magnificence^  with  supper- 
tables  laden  with  services  of  gold  and 
silver,  A  door  in  the  back  scene,  guarded 
by  two  Soldiers,  Lords,  Ladies,  Knights, 
Gentlemen,  etc,  whispering  sadly,  and 
ranging  themselves  j  pari  entering  and 
part  discovered. 

\st  Knight,  Grievously  are  we  tantalized, 
one  and  all; 
Sway'd  here  and  there,  commanded  to  and 

fro, 
As  though  we  were  the  shadows  of  a  sleep. 
And  link'd  to  a  dreaming  fancy.    What  do 
we  here  ? 
Gonfred.  I   am   no  seer;  you  know  we 
must  obey 
The  prince  from  A  to  Z,  though  it  should 

be 
To  set  the  place  in  flames.    I  pray,  hast 

heard 
Where  the  most  wicked  Princess  is  ? 

Ist  Knight.  There,  sir, 

In  the  next  room;  have  you  remarked  those 
two  9 

Stout  soldiers  posted  at  the  door  ? 

Gonfred,  For  what? 

[They  whisper. 
1st  Lady.  How  ghast  a  train  I 


2d  Lady,  Sure  this  should  be  some  splen- 
did burial. 

Ist  Lady.  What  fearful  whispering!  See, 
see,  —  Grersa  there  I 

Enter  Gebsa. 

Gersa.  Put  on  your  brightest  looks; 
smile  if  you  can; 

Behave  as  all  were  happy;  keep  your  eyes 

From  the  least  watch  upon  him;  if  he 
speaks 

To  any  one,  answer  collectedly. 

Without  surprise,  Ins  questions,  howe*er 
strange. 

Do  this  to  the  utmost  —  though,  alas !  with 
me 

The  remedy  grows  hopeless  I  Here  he 
comes,  —  20 

Observe  what  I  have  said  —  show  no  sur- 
prise. 

Enter  Ludolph,  followed  by  Sigifred  and 

Page. 

Ludolph.  A    splendid    company !    rare 

beauties  here  I 
I  should  have  Orphean  lips,  and  Plato's 

fancy, 
Amphion*s  utterance,  toned  with  his  lyre, 
Or  the  deep  key  of  Jove^s  sonorous  mouth, 
To  give  fit  salutation.    Methought  I  heard, 
As  I  came  in,  some  whispers  —  what  of 

that? 
'TIS  natural  men  should  whisper;   at  the 

kiss 
Of  Psyche  given  by  Love,  there   was  a 

buzz 
Among  the  gods  I  —  and  silence  is  as  natu- 
ral. 30 
These    draperies    are  fine,  and,  being  a 

mortal, 
I  should  desire  no  better;  yet,  in  truth. 
There  must  be  some  superior  costliness, 
Some  wider-domed  high  mag^nificence  ! 
I  would  have,  as  a  mortal  I  may  not, 
Hangings  of  heaven's  clouds,  purple  and 

gold. 
Slung  from  the  spheres;  gauzes  of  silver 

mist. 


SCENE  V 


OTHO  THE  GREAT 


189 


Loop'd  np  with  oords  of  twisted  wreathed 

ligbt, 
.And  Ussel'd  roond  with  weeping  meteors  I 
Tliese  pendent  lamps  and  chandeliers  are 

bright  40 

A$  earthly  fires  from  doll  dross  can  be 


Tet  could  my  eyes  drink  up  intenser  beams 
Undazzled  —  this  is    darkness  —  when  I 

close 
These  lids,  I  see  far  fiercer  brilliances,  — 
Skies  foil  of  splendid  moons,  and  shooting 

stars. 
And  tpoating  exhalations,  diamond  fires. 
And  panting  fountains  quivering  with  deep 

glows  I 
let— this  is  dark  —  is  it  not  dark  ? 

Si^fred.  My  Lord, 

Til  late;  the  lights  of  festival  are  ever  49 
Qiench'd  in  the  mom. 
Udolph,  T  is  not  to-morrow  then  ? 

Si^ed,  Tis  early  dawn. 
Gena.  Indeed  fall  time  we  slept; 

Sly  jon  so,  Prince  ? 

JMclpk,  I  say  I  quarrel'd  with  you; 

We  did  not    tilt  each  other  —  that 's  a 

blessing, — 
M  gods !   no  innocent  blood  upon  my 
head! 
Sigifred.  Retire,  Gersa ! 
IfMpL        There  should  be  three  more 
here: 
'or  two  of  them,  they  stay  away  perhaps, 
^Qsg  gloomy-minded,  haters  of  fair  rev- 

els,- 
IWy  know  their  own  thoughts  best. 

As  for  the  third, 
^  blue  eyes,  semi-shaded  in  white  lids, 
^nidi'd  with    lashes  fine  for  more  soft 
shade,  60 

^^oi^leted  by  her  twin-arch'd  ebon-brows; 
Wkite  temples,  of  ezactest  elegance, 
Of  even  mould,  felicitous  and  smooth; 
Ckeeks  fuhion'd  tenderly  on  either  side, 
^  perfect,  so  divine,  that  our  poor  eyes 
•Abb  dassled  with  the  sweet  proportioning, 
M  wonder    that    'tis    so — the    magic 
! 


Her  nostrils,  small,  fragrant,  fairy-delicate; 
Her  lips — I  swear  no  human  bones  e'er 

wore 
So  taking  a  disguise; — you  shall  behold 

her !  ?« 

We  11  have  her  presently;  ay,  you  shall  see 

her. 
And  wonder  at  her,  friends,  she  is  so  fair; 
She  is  the  world's  chief  jewel,  and,  by 

heaven. 
She 's  mine  by  right  of  marriage  I  —  she  is 

mine  I 
Patience,  good  people,  in  fit  time  I  send 
A  sunmioner,  —  she  will  obey  my  call, 
Being  a  wife  most  mild  and  dutiful. 
First  I  would  hear  what  music  is  prepared 
To  herald  and  receive  her;  let  me  hear  ! 
Sigifred,  Bid  the  musicians  soothe  him 

tenderly.  80 

[i4  soft  strain  of  Music. 

Ludolph,  Te  have  none  better  ?     No,  I 

am  content; 
'T  is  a  rich  sobbing  melody,  with  reliefs 
Full  and  majestic;  it  is  well  enough. 
And  will  be  sweeter,  when  you  see  her  pace 
Sweeping  into  this  presence,  glistened  o'er 
With  emptied  caskets,  and  her  train  upheld 
By  ladies,  habited  in  robes  of  lawn, 
Sprinkled   with    golden    crescents,  others 

bright 
In  silks,  with  spangles  shower'd,  and  bow'd 

to  89 

By  Duchesses  and  pearled  Margravines  I 
Sad,  that  the  fairest  creature  of  the  earth  — 
I  pray  you  mind  me  not  —  't  is  sad,  I  say, 
That  the  extremest  beauty  of  the  world 
Should  so  entrench  herself  away  from  me, 
Behind  a  barrier  of  engendered  guilt ! 
2d  Lady,  Ah  I  what  a  moan  I 
Ist  Knight,  Most  piteous  indeed  I 

Ludolph,  She  shall  be  brought  before  this 

company. 
And  then  —  then  — 
1st  Lady,  He  muses. 
Gersa,  O,  Fortune,  where  will  this 

end? 
Sigifred,  1  guess  his  purpose !    Indeed 

he  must  not  have 


Z90 


DRAMAS 


ACTV 


That  pestilence  brought  in, — that  cannot 

be,  xoo 

There  we  must  stop  him. 

Gersa,  I  am  lost  I    Hush,  hush  I 

He  is  about  to  rave  again. 
Ludolph.  A  barrier  of  guilt !    I  was  the 

fool, 
She  was  the  cheater  I    Who  *s  the  cheater 

now. 
And  who  the  fool?    The  entrapp'd,  the 

caged  fool, 
The  bird-limed  rayen  ?    She  shall  croak  to 

death 
Secure  I    Methinks  I  have  her  in  my  fist, 
To  crush  her  with  my  heel !     Wait,  wait  I 

I  marvel 
My  father  keeps  away.    Grood  friend  —  ah  I 

Signed  I 
Do  bring  him  to  me,  —  and  Erminia       no 
I  fain  would  see  before  I  sleep — and  £th- 

elbert. 
That  he  may  bless  me,  as  I  know  he  will. 
Though  I  have  cursed  him. 

Sigifred,  Bather  suffer  me 

To  lead  you  to  them. 

Ludolph,  No,  excuse  me,  —  no ! 

The  day  is  not  quite  done.    Go,  bring  them 

hither.  [^Exit  Sigifrrd. 

Certes,  a  father's  smile  should,  like  sun 

light, 
Slant  on  my  sheafed  harvest  of  npe  bliss. 
Besides,  I  thirst  to  pledge  my  lovely  bride 
In  a  deep  goblet:  let  me  see  —  what  wine  ? 
The  strong  Iberian  juice,  or  mellow  Greek  ? 
Or  pale  Calabrian  ?    Or  the  Tuscan  g^pe  ? 
Or  of  old  iBtna's  pulpy  wine-presses,      laa 
Black  stain'd  with  the  fat  vintage,  as  it 

were 
The  purple  slaughter-house,  where  Bac- 
chus' self 
Frick'd  his  own  swollen  veins  ?    Where  is 

my  page? 
Page.  Here,  here  f 
Ludolph.  Be  ready  to  obey  me;    anon 

thou  shalt 
Bear  a  soft  message  for  me;  for  the  hour 
Draws  near  when  I  most  make  a  winding 

up 


Of  bridal    mysteries  —  a    fine-epun  ven- 
geance I 
Carve  it  on  my  tomb,  that,  when  I  rest 
beneath,  130 

Men  shall  confess  this  Prince  was  gull'd 

and  cheated, 
But  from  the  ashes  of  disgrace  he  rose 
More  than  a  fiery  phcenix,  and  did  bum 
His  ignominy  up  in  purging  fires  I 
Did  I  not  send.  Sir,  but  a  moment  past. 
For  my  Father  ? 

Oersa.  Ton  did. 

Ludolph.  Ferhaps  't  would  be 

Much  better  he  came  not. 

Gersa,  He  enters  now  I 

Enter  Otho,  Erbonia,  Ethelbert,  Sigi- 
fred, and  Physician. 

Ludolph,  O  thou  good  man,  against  whose 

sacred  head 
I  was  a  mad  conspirator,  chiefly  too,        139 
For  the  sake  of  my  fair  newly  wedded  wife. 
Now  to  be  punish'd,  do  not  look  so  sad  I 
Those  charitable  eyes  will  thaw  my  heart. 
Those  tears  will  wash  away  a  just  resolve, 
A  verdict  ten  times  sworn  !     Awake  — 

awake  — 
Put  on  a  judge's  brow,  and  use  a  tongue 
Made  iron-stem  by  habit  I     Thou  shalt  see 
A  deed  to  be  applauded,  'scribed  in  gold  I 
Join  a  loud  voice  to  mine,  and  so  denounce 
What  I  alone  will  execute 

OUio.  Dear  son. 

What  is  it  ?    By  your  father's  love,  I  sue 
That  it  be  nothing  merciless  ! 

Ludolph.  To  that  demon  ? 

Not  so  I    No  !    She  is  in  temple-stall     152 
Being  gamish'd  for  the  sacrifice,  and  I, 
The  Priest  of  Justice,  will  immolate  her 
Upon  the  altar  of  wrath  !     She  stings  me 

through  I  — 
Even  as  the  worm  doth  feed  upon  the  nut, 
So  she,  a  scorpion,  preys  upon  my  brain  I 
I  feel  her  gnawing  here  I      Let  her  but 

vanish, 
Then,  father,  I  will  lead  your  legions  forth. 
Compact  in  steeled  squares,  and  speared 

files,  160 


SCENE  V 


OTHO   THE  GREAT 


191 


.And  bid  our  trumpets  speak  a  fell  rebuke 
To  natioDS  drows'd  in  peaee  I 

Otko.  To-morrow,  son, 

fie  joor  word  law;  forget  to-day — 

Lwiolpk.  Iwni 

VThen  I  have  finisli'd,  it!    Now,  —  now, 

I'mpight,  y /"'*i^^ 
ITighUf ooted  for  the  deed  I 

Ermmia,  Alas  I  Alas  I 

Ludolpk.  What  angel's  Toice  is  that? 
Erminia  I 
Ah.  I  gentlest  creature,  whose  sweet  inno- 

eenee 
Wis  ilmost  murder'd;  I  am  penitent; 
Wilt  thou  forgive  me  ?     And  thou,  holy 

man, 
G«od  Ethelbert,  shall  I  die  in  peace  with 
you  ?  170 

Erminia,  Die,  my  lord ! 
Ludo^l^  I  feel  it  possible. 

Otko.  Physician  ? 

Phfridcat,  I  fear  me  he  is  past  my  skill. 
Otko,  Not  so  I 

litio^  I  see  it  —  I   see  it  —  I  have 

been  wandering ! 
Hilf  mad  —  not  right  here  —  I  forget  my 

purpose. 
Botb-bestir  — Auranthe!    Halhalhal 
^tttgiter !  Page  I  go  bid  them  drag  her 

tome ! 
^\  ThU  shaU  finish  it  I 

[Draios  a  dagger. 
^  Oh,  my  son  !  my  son  !  I 


Sigifred.  This  must  not  be  —  stop  there  ! 

LudoLph.  Am  I  obey'd  ? 

A  little  talk  with  her  —  no  harm  —  haste  I 

haste !  [Exit  Page. 

Set  her  before  me  —  never  fear  I  can  strike. 

Several  Voices,  Mj  Lord  !    My  Lord  ! 

Gersa.  Good  Prince ! 

Ludolph.  Why  do  ye  trouble  me?  out 
—  out  —  away  !  iSa 

There  she  is  I  take  that !  and  that  I  no,  no  — 
That 's  not  well  done.  —  Where  is  she  ? 

The  doors  open.  Enter  Page.  Several  too- 
men  are  seen  grouped  about  Auranthe  in 
the  inner-room. 

Page.  Alas  I    My  Lord,  my  Lord  !  they 
cannot  move  her  I 
Her  arms  are  stiff,  —  her  fingers  denoh'd 
and  cold  I 
Ludolph.  She  's  dead  ! 

[Staggers  and  falls  into  their  arms. 
Ethelbert.  Take  away  the  dagger. 
Gersa.  Softly;  sol 

Otho.    Thank  God  for  that  I 
Sigifred.        It  could  not  harm  him  now. 
Gersa.  No  !  — brief  be  his  anguish  I 
Ludolph.  She 's  gone  I    I  am  content  — 
Nobles,  good  night !         *  190 

We  are  all  weary  —  faint  —  set  ope   the 

doors  — 
I  will  to  bed  !  —  To-morrow  — 

[Dies. 
The  Curtain  faUs. 


KING  STEPHEN 


A   DRAMATIC  FRAGMENT 


Lord  Houghton,  when  reprinting  this  jneee 
in  the  Aldine  edition  of  1876,  appends  the  f  ol- 
lo¥ring  note  from  the  MSS.  of  Charles  Armi- 
tage  Brown:  'As  soon  as  Keats  had  finished 
Otho  the  Great  I  pointed  out  to  him  a  sahject 
for  an  English  historical  tragedy  in  the  reign 
of  Stephen,  beginning  with  his  defeat  by  the 
Empress  Maud  and  ending  with  the  death  of 
his  son  Eostace.    He  was  struck  with  the  vari- 


ety of  eyents  and  characters  which  must 
sarily  be  introduced,  and  I  offered  to  giye,  as 
before,  their  dramatic  conduct.  '*  The  play  must 
open,"  I  began,  '*  with  the  field  of  battle,  when 
Stephen's  forces  are  retreating."  —  ''Stop," 
he  cried,  "I  have  been  too  long  in  loaiiing 
strings ;  I  will  do  all  tlus  myself."  He  imme- 
diately set  about  it,  and  wrote  two  or  three 
scenes.' 


ACT   I 

Scene  I.  —  Field  of  Battle 

Alarum,     Enter  King  Stephen,  Knights^ 

and  Soldiers. 

Stephen.  If  shame  can  on  a  soldier's  vein- 

swoll'n  front 
Spread  deeper  crimson  than  the  battle's 

toil, 
Blush  in  your  casing  helmets  I  for  see,  see  I 
Yonder  my  chivalry,  my  pride  of  war, 
Wrench'd  with   an   iron  hand   from  firm 

array. 
Are  routed  loose  about  the  plashy  meads. 
Of  honour  forfeit.     O,   that  my  known 

voice 
Could  reach  your  dastard  ears,  and  fright 

you  more  I 
Fly,  cowards,  fly !   Glocester  is  at  your 

backs  I 
Throw  your  slack  bridles  o'er  the  flurried 

manes. 
Ply  well  the  rowell  with  faint  trembling 

heels,  lo 

Scampering  to  death  at  last ! 

Ist  Knight,  The  enemy 

Bears  his  flaunt  standard  close  upon  their 

rear. 


2d  Knight,  Sure  of  a  bloody  prey,  seeing 
the  fens 
Will  swamp  them  girth-deep. 

Stephen,  Over  head  and  ears, 

No  matter  I    'T  is  a  gallant  enemy; 
How  like  a  comet  he  goes  streaming  on. 
But  we  must  plague  him  in  the  flank, — 

hey,  friends  ? 
We  are  well  breathed,  —  follow  I 

Enter  Earl  Baldwin  and  Soldiers^  as 
defeated, 

Stephen,  De  Redvers ! 

What  is  the  monstrous  bugbear  that  can 
fright  ao 

Baldwin  ? 

Baldwin,  No  scare-crow,  but  the  fortu- 
nate star 
Of  boisterous  Chester,  whose  fell  truncheon 

now 
Points  level  to  the  goal  of  victory. 
This  way  he  comes,  and  if  you  would  main- 
tain* 
Your  person  unaffronted  by  vile  odds, 
Take  horse,  my  Lord. 

Stephen,     And  which  way  spur  for  life  ? 
Now  I  thank  Heaven  I  am  in  the  toils, 
That  soldiers  may  bear  witness  how  my 
arm 


192 


SCENE  II 


KING   STEPHEN 


193 


Cm  bant  the  meahes.    Not  the  eagle  more 
LoTes  to  beat  ap  against  a  tyrannous  blast, 
Than  I  to  meet  the  torrent  of  my  foes.     31 
Thii  is  a  brag,  — be  't  so,  —  but  if  I  fall, 
Carre  it  upon  my  'scntcheon'd  sepulchre. 
On,  fellow  soldders  !      Earl  of  Redvers, 

back! 
Xot  twenty  £arb  of  Chester  shall  brow- 
beat 
Tbe  diadem.  [Exeunt.    Alarum. 

SCEXE  II.  —  Another  part  of  the  Field 

InMipeft  sounding  a  Victory.     Enter 
Glocester,  Knights,  and  Forces. 

Gloeester.  Now  may  we  lift  our  bruised 
Tisors  up. 
And  take  the  flattering  freshness  of  the 

air, 
Wbile  the  wide  din  of  battle  dies  away 
Iito  times  past,  yet  to  be  echoed  sure 
la  tbe  silent  pages  of  our  chroniclers. 
ht  Kmgkt.   Will    Stephen's    death    be 
mark'd  there,  my  good  Lord, 
Ortlat  we  gave  him  lodg^g  in  yon  towers  ? 
Olxxegter.  Fain  would  I  know  the  great 
Qsorper's  &te. 

Enter  two  Captains  severally. 

h<  Ctqflain.  My  Lord  I 
2tf  Captain,  Most  noble  Earl  I 

IK  Captom.  The  King  — 
2rf  Coftain.  The  Empress  greets  — 

(^!ioctster.  What  of  the  King  ? 
^  Captain.    He  sole  and  lone  maintains 
•A^)elets  bustle  'mid  our  swarming  arms, 
^  with  a  nimble  savageness  attacks,      13 
£iapefl,  makes  fiercer  onset,  then  anew 
£Mei  death,  giving  death  to  most  that 

dare 
Tjcfpaai  within  the  circuit  of  his  sword  ! 
He  most  by  thb  have  fallen.     Baldwin  is 

taken; 
^■d  for  tbe  Duke  of  Bretagne,  like  a  stag 
fle  ffiei^  for  the  Welsh  beagles  to  hunt 


God  iftTe  the  Empress  ! 


Glocester.  Now  our  dreaded  Queen: 

What  message  from  her  Highness  ? 

2d  Captain,  Royal  Maud 

From  the  throng'd  towers  of  Lincoln  hath 

look'd  down,  2a 

Like  Pallas  from  the  walls  of  Uion, 
And  seen  her  enemies  havock'd  at  her  feet. 
She  greets  most  noble  Glocester  from  her 

heart. 
Entreating  him,  his  captains,  and  brave 

knights. 
To  grace  a  banquet.     The  high  city  gates 
Are  envious  which  shall  see  your  triumph 

pass; 
The  streets  are  full  of  music. 

Enter  2d  Knight. 

Glocester.  Whence  come  you  ? 

2d  Knight.    From    Stephen,    my    good 
Prince,  —  Stephen  I     Stephen  I       30 
Glocester.  Why  do  you  make  such  echo- 
ing of  his  name  ? 
2d  Knight.  Because  I  think,  my  lord,  he 
is  no  man, 
But  a  fierce  demon,  'nointed  safe  from 

wounds. 
And  misbaptized  with  a  Christian  name. 
Glocester.  A  mighty  soldier  I  —  Does  he 

still  hold  out  ? 
2d  Knight.  He  shames  our  victory.     His 
valour  still 
Keeps  elbow-room  amid  our  eager  swords. 
And  holds  our  bladed  falchions  all  aloof  — 
His  gleaming   battle-axe  being  slaughter- 
sick, 
Smote  on  the  morion  of  a  Flemish  knight, 
Broke  short  in  his  hand;  upon  the  which 
he  flung  41 

The  heft  away  with  such  a  vengeful  force, 
It  paunch'd  the  Earl  of  Chester's  horse, 

who  then 
Spleen-hearted  came  in  full  career  at  him. 
Glocester.  Did  no  one  take  him  at  a  van- 
tage then  ? 
2d  Knight.  Three  then  with  tiger  leap 
upon  him  flew, 
Whom,  with  his  sword  swift-drawn  and 
nimbly  held, 


194 


DRAMAS 


ACT  I 


He  stung  away  again,  and  stood  to  breathe, 
Smiling.  Anon  upon  him  rash'd  once  more 
A  throng  of  foes,  and  in  this  renew'd  strife. 
My  sword  met  his  and  snapp'd  off  at  the 
hilt.  51 

Olocester.  Come,  lead  me  to  this  man  — 
and  let  us  move 
In  silence,  not  insulting  his  sad  doom 
With  clamorous  trumpets.     To  the  Em- 
press bear 
My  salutation  as  befits  the  time. 

[^Exeunt  Glocester  and  Forces. 

Scene  III.  —  The  Field  of  Battle 
Enter  Stephen  unarmed. 

Stephen,  Another  sword  I     And  what  if 

I  could  seize 
One  from  Bellona's  gleaming  armoury. 
Or  choose  the  fairest  of  her  sheafed  spears  I 
Where  are  my  enemies?     Here,  close  at 

hand, 
Here  come  the  testy  brood.      O,  for  a 

sword  I 
I  'm  faint  —  a  biting    sword  I      A  noble 

sword  I 
A  hedge-stake  —  or  a  ponderous  stone  to 

hurl 
With  brawny  vengeance,  like  the  labourer 

Cain. 
Come  on  !     Farewell  my  kingdom,  and  all 

hail 
Thou  superb,  plumed,  and  helmeted  re- 
nown, 10 
All  hail  —  I  would  not  truck  this  brilliant 

day 
To  rule  in  Pylos  with  a  Nestor's  beard  — 
Come  on ! 

Enter  De  Kaims  and  Knights,  etc. 

De  Kaims.   Is't  madness  or  a  hunger 
after  death 
That    makes    thee    thus    unarm'd    throw 

taunts  at  us  ?  — 
Yield,  Stephen,  or  my  sword's  point  dips  in 
The  gloomy  current  of  a  traitor's  heart. 
Stephen.  Do  it,   De  Kaims,  I  will  not 
budge  an  inch. 


De  Kaims.  Yes,  of  thy  madness  thoa 

shalt  take  the  meed. 
Stephen.  Darest  thou  ? 
De  Kaims.  How  dare,  against  a  man  dis- 

arm'd? 
Stephen,  What  weapons  has  the  lion  but 
himself?  20 

Come  not  near  me,  De  Kaims,  for  by  the 

price 
Of  all  the  glory  I  have  won  this  day. 
Being  a  king,  I  will  not  yield  alive 
To  any  but  the  second  man  of  the  realm, 
Robert  of  Glocester. 
De  Kaims.  Thou  shalt  vail  to  me. 

Stephen.  Shall  I,   when  I   have  sworn 
against  it,  sir  ? 
Thou  think'st  it  brave  to  take  a  breathing 

king. 
That,  on  a  court-day  bow'd  to  haughty 

Maud, 
The  awed  presence-chamber  may  be  bold 
To  whisper,  there 's  the  man  who  took 
alive  30 

Stephen  —  me  —  prisoner.       Certes,    De 

Kaims, 
The  ambition  is  a  noble  one. 

De  Kaims.  'T  is  true. 

And,  Stephen,  I  must  compass  it. 

Stephen,  No,  no. 

Do  not  tempt  me  to  throttle  you  on  the 

gorge, 
Or  with  my  gauntlet  crush  your  hollow 

breast. 
Just  when  your  knighthood  is  grown  ripe 

and  full 
For  lordship. 

A  Soldier.  Is  an  honest  yeoman's  spear 
Of  no  use  at  a  need  ?    Take  that. 

Stephen.  Ah,  dastard ! 

De  Kaims.  What,  you  are  vulnerable ! 

my  prisoner ! 
Stephen.  No,  not  yet.    I  disclaim  it,  and 
demand  40 

Death  as  a  sovereign  right  unto  a  king 
Who  'sdains  to  yield  to  any  but  his  peer. 
If  not  in  title,  yet  in  noble  deeds. 
The  Earl  of  Glocester.     Stab  to  the  hilt, 
De  Kaims, 


Vf 


T 


SCENE  IV 


KING   STEPHEN 


195 


For  I  will  never  bj  mean  hands  be  led 
Prom  this  so  famous  field.     Do  you  hear  I 

Be  quick  I 
Trumpets.    Enter  the  Earl  o/* Chester  and 

Knights. 

Scene  IV.  — A  Presence  Chamber.  Queen 
Maud  in  a  Chair  of  State ^  the  Earls 
of  Glocester  and  Chester,  Lords, 
Attendants 

Maud.  Glocester,  no  more:  I  will  behold 
that  Boulogne: 
Set  him  before  me.    Not  for  the  poor  sake 
Of  regal  pomp  and  a  vain-glorious  hour. 
As  thou  with  wary  speech,  yet  near  enough, 
Hast  hinted. 

Glocester.  Faithful  counsel  have  I  given; 
If  wary,  for  your  Highness'  benefit. 

Maud.  The  Heavens  forbid  that  I  should 
not  think  so. 
For  by  thy  valour  have  I  won  this  realm, 
Which  by  thy  wisdom  I  will  ever  keep. 
To  sage  advisers  let  me  ever  bend  10 

A  meek  attentive  ear,  so  that  they  treat 
Of  the  wide  kingdom's  rule  and  govern- 
ment. 
Not  trenching  on  our  actions  persoqfd. 
Advised,  not  schooled,  I  would  be;    and 

henceforth 
Spoken  to  in  clear,  plain,  and  open  terms, 
Not  side-ways  sermon'd  at. 

Glocester.  Then  in  plain  terms. 

Once  more  for  the  fallen  king  — 

Maud.  Your  paidon,  Brother, 

I  would  no  more  of  that;  for,  as  I  said, 
'T  is  not  for  worldly  pomp  I  wish  to  see 
The  rebel,  but  as  dooming  judge  to  give  ao 
A  sentence  something  worthy  of  his  g^t. 
Glocester.  If  't  must  be  so,  I  '11  bring  him 
to  your  presence. 

[Exit  Glocester. 
Maud,  A  meaner  summoner  might  do  as 
well  — 
My  Lord  of  Chester,  is  't  true  what  I 

hear 
Of  Stephen  of  Boulogne,  our  prisoner. 
That  he,  as  a  fit  penance  for  his  crimes, 


Eats  wholesome,  sweet,  and  palatable  food 
Off  Glocester's  golden  dishes  —  drinks  pure 

wine, 
Lodges  soft  ? 

Chester.  More  than    that,  my  gracious 

Queen, 
Has  anger'd  me.    The  noble  Earl,   me- 

thinks,  30 

Full  soldier  as  he  is,  and  without  peer 
In  counsel,  dreams  too  much  among  his 

books. 
It  may  read  well,  but  sure  't  is  out  of  date 
To  play  the  Alexander  with  Darius. 
Maud.  Truth  I    I  think  so.    By  Heavens 

it  shall  not  last ! 
Chester.  It  would  amaze  your  Highness 

now  to  mark 
How  Glocester  overstrains  his  courtesy 
To  that  crime-loving  rebel,  that  Boulogne  — 
Maud.  That  ingrate  ! 
Chester.  For  whose  vast  ingratitude 

To  our  late  sovereign  lord,  your  noble  sire, 
The  generous  Earl  condoles  in  his  mishaps. 
And  with  a  sort  of  lackeying  friendliness, 
Talks  off  the  mighty  frowning  from  his 

brow,  43 

Woos  him  to  hold  a  duet  in  a  smile. 
Or,  if  it  please  him,  play  an  hour  at  chess  — 
Maud.  A  perjured  slave ! 
Chester.  And  for  his  perjury, 

Glocester  has  fit  rewards  —  nay,  I  believe, 
He  sets  his  bustling  household's  wits  at 

work 
For  flatteries  to  ease  this  Stephen's  hours, 
And  make  a  heaven  of  his  purgatory ;       50 
Adorning  bondage  with  the  pleasant  gloss 
Of  feasts  and  music,  and  all  idle  shows 
Of  indoor  pageantry;  while  syren  whispers. 
Predestined  for  his  ear,  'scape  as  half- 

check'd 
From  lips  the  courtliest  and  the  rubiest, 
Of  all  the  realm,  admiring  of  his  deeds. 
Maud.  A  frost  upon  his  summer  ! 
Chester.  A  queen's  nod 

Can  make  his  June  December.     Here  he 

comes. 


THE  EVE  OF   ST.    MARK 


A  FRAGMENT 


In  a  letter  to  Qeorge  and  Gkorgiana  Keats, 
dated  February  14,  1819,  Keats  says  that  he 
means  to  send  them  in  the  next  packet  *  The 
Pot  of  BasU,'  *  St.  Agnes'  Eve,'  and  *  if  I 
should  have  finished  it  a  little  thing  called  "  The 
Eye  of  St.  Mark."  '  He  does  not  refer  to  the 
poem  again  directly,  until  writing  from  Win- 
chester to  the  same,  September  20,  when  he 
says :  *  The  great  beauty  of  poetry  is  that  it 
makes  eyerything  in  every  place  interesting. 
The  palatine  Vienna  and  the  abbotine  Win- 
chester are  equally  interesting.  Some  time 
since  I  began  a  poem  called  "  The  Eve  of  St. 
Mark,"  quite  in  the  spirit  of  town  quietude. 
I  think  I  will  give  you  the  sensation  of  walk- 
ing about  an  old  country  town  in  a  coolish  even- 
ing. I  know  not  whether  I  shall  ever  finish  it. 
I  will  give  it  as  far  as  I  have  gone.'  The 
poem  appears  never  to  have  been  finished,  and 
was  published  in  this  fragmentary  form  in  Life^ 
Letters  and  Literary  Remains. 

Mr.  Forman  gives  an  interesting  extract  from 


a  letter  written  him  by  Mr.  Bonetti,  irUok 
throws  a  possible  light  on  the  origin  of  thi 
poem.  He  had  been  reading  Keats's  letten  t» 
Fanny  Brawne,  and  writes :  ^  I  should  think  it 
very  conceivable  —  nay,  I  will  say  to  mpif 
highly  probable  and  almost  certain,  —  that  till 
**  Poem  which  I  have  in  my  head  "  refezredtfr 
by  Keats  at  page  106  was  none  other  thaa  till 
fragmentary ''Eve  of  St.  Mark."  Bytheligbt 
of  tiie  extract,  .  .  .  I  judge  that  the  heroinf 
remorseful  after  trifling  with  a  siok  and  aoiv 
absent  lover  —  might  make  her  way  to  till 
minster-porch  to  learn  his  fate  by  the  speU» 
and  perhaps  see  his  figure  enter  but  noi  K* 
turn.'  The  extract  from  Keats's  letter  ii  tf 
follows  :  '  If  my  health  would  bear  it,  I  coalfi 
write  a  Poem  which  I  have  in  my  head,  whidi 
would  be  a  consolation  for  people  in  sodi  i 
situation  as  mine.  I  would  show  some  one  fli 
Love  |is  I  am,  with  a  person  living  in  nflh 
Liberty  as  you  do.' 


Upon  a  Sabbath-day  it  fell; 
Twice  holy  was  the  Sabbath-bell, 
That  cnll'd  the  folk  to  evening  prayer; 
The  city  streets  were  clean  and  fair 
From  wholesome  drench  of  April  rains; 
And,  on  the  western  window  panes, 
The  chilly  sunset  faintly  told 
Of  unmatured  g^en  valleys  cold, 
Of  the  green  thorny  bloomless  hedge. 
Of  rivers  new  with  spring-tide  sedge,    i 
Of  primroses  by  sheltered  rills. 
And  daisies  on  the  aguish  hills. 
Twice  holy  was  the  Sabbath-bell: 
The  silent  streets  were  crowded  well 
With  staid  and  pious  companies. 
Warm  from  their  fireside  orat'ries; 
And  moving,  with  demurest  air. 
To  even-song,  and  vesper  prayer. 


Each  arched  porch,  and  entry  low» 
Was  filPd  with  patient  folk  and  slow,       » 
W^ith  whispers  hush,  and  shuffling  feet, 
While  play'd  the  organ  loud  and  sweet. 

The  bells  had  ceased,  the  prayers  began. 
And  Bertha  had  not  yet  half  done 
A  curious  volume,  patch'd  and  torn, 
That  all  day  long,  from  earliest  mom. 
Had  taken  captive  her  two  eyes. 
Among  its  gfolden  broideries; 
Perplex'd  her  with  a  thousand  things, — 
The  stars  of  Heaven,  and  angels'  wings,  so 
Martyrs  in  a  fiery  blaze. 
Azure  saints  and  silver  rays, 
Moses'  breastplate,  and  the  seven 
Candlesticks  John  saw  in  Heaven,. 
The  winged  Lion  of  Saint  Mark» 


196 


THE  EVE  OF  ST.    MARK 


197 


renantal  Ark, 

And  the  warm  angled  winter-screen, 

ny  mysteries, 

On  which  were  many  monsters  seen, 

id  golden  mice. 

Call'd  doves  of  Siam,  Lima  mice, 

And  legless  birds  of  Paradise,                   80 

A  maiden  fair, 

Macaw,  and  tender  Avadavat, 

th'  old  Minster-square;          40 

And  silken-furr'd  Angora  cat. 

■eside  she  could  see, 

Untired  she  read,  her  shadow  still 

rich  antiquity, 

Glower'd  about,  as  it  would  fill 

(ishop's  garden-wall; 

The  room  with  wildest  forms  and  shades, 

mores  and  elm-trees  tall. 

As  though  some  ghostly  queen  of  spades 

the  forest  had  outstript, 

Had  come  to  mock  behind  her  back. 

north-wind  ever  nipt, 

And  dance,  and  rufifie  her  garments  black. 

by  the  mighty  pile. 

Untired  she  read  the  legend  page, 

i,  and  read  awhile, 

Of  holy  Mark,  from  youth  to  age,             90 

ad  'gainst  the  window-pane. 

On  land,  on  sea,  in  pagan  chains, 

ried,  and  then  again,                50 

Rejoicing  for  his  many  pains. 

isk  eve  left  her  dark 

Sometimes  the  learned  eremite, 

^nd  of  St.  Mark. 

With  golden  star,  or  dagger  bright. 

i  lawn-frill,  fine  and  thin. 

Referred  to  pious  poesies 

p  her  soft  warm  chin, 

Written  in  smallest  crow-quill  size 

^  neck  and  swimming  eyes, 

Beneath  the  text;  and  thus  the  rhyme 

^th  saintly  imageries. 

Was  parcell'd  out  from  time  to  time: 

*  Als  writith  he  of  swevenis. 

>m,  and  silent  all, 

Men  ban  befome  they  wake  in  bliss,        100 

id  then  the  still  foot-fall 

Whanne  that  hir  f  riendes  thinke  him  bound 

ming  homewards  late, 

In  crimped  shroude  farre  under  grounde; 

oing  minster-gate.                    60 

And  how  a  litling  child  mote  be 

>us  daws,  that  all  the  day 

A  saint  er  its  nativitie. 

tops  and  towers  play, 

Gif  that  the  modre  (Gt)d  her  blesse  I) 

had  gone  to  rest, 

Kepen  in  solitarinesse. 

incient  belfry-nest, 

And  kissen  devoute  the  holy  croce. 

p  they  fall  betimes, 

Of  Groddes  love,  and  Sathan's  force,  — 

d  the  drowsy  chimes. 

He  wntith;  and  thinges  many  mo 

Of  swiche  thinges  I  may  not  show.           no 

it,  all  was  gloom, 

Bot  I  must  tellen  verilie 

in  the  homely  room: 

Somdel  of  Saints  Cicilie, 

i,  poor  cheated  soul ! 

And  chieflie  what  he  auctorethe 

I  lamp  from  the  dismal  coal;    70 

Of  Saints  Markis  Ufe  and  dethe: ' 

ard,  with  bright  drooping  hair 

>ok,  full  against  the  glare. 

At  length  her  constant  eyelids  oome 

,  in  uneasy  gube, 

Upon  the  fervent  martyrdom; 

ut,  a  giant  size, 

Then  lastly  to  his  holy  shrine, 

earn  and  old  oak  chair, 

Exalt  amid  the  tapers'  shine 

cage,  and  panel-square; 

At  Venice,  — 

HYPERION 


A   FRAGMENT 


The  first  mention  of  Hyperion  in  Keats^s 
letters  occurs  in  that  written  on  Christmas  day, 
1818,  to  his  brother  and  sister  in  America,  in 
which  he  says :  *  I  think  yon  knew  before  yon 
left  England  that  my  next  subject  would  be 
"the  fall  of  Hyperion.*'  I  went  on  a  little 
with  it  last  night,  but  it  wiU  take  some  time  to 
get  into  the  vein  again.  I  will  not  g^ve  you 
any  extracts  because  I  wish  the  whole  to  make 
an  impression.'  He  speaks  of  it  a  week  later 
as  '  scarce  beg^un.'  Agfiun,  February  14, 1819, 
he  writes  to  the  same :  *  I  have  not  gone  on 
with  Hyperion  —  for  to  tell  the  truth  I  have 
not  been  in  great  cue  for  writing  lately  —  I 
must  wait  for  the  spring  to  rouse  me  up  a  lit- 
tle.' In  Aug^ust  he  told  Bailey  that  he  had 
been  writing  parts  of  Hyperion,  but  it  is  quite 
plun  that  he  did  little  continuous  work  on  it, 
but  was  drawn  off  by  his  tales  and  tragedy. 
From  Winchester,  September  22,  1819,  he 
writes  to  Reynolds  :  *  I  have  given  xi^  Hyperion 
—  there  were  too  many  Miltonio  inyersions  in 
it  —  Miltonic  verse  cannot  be  written  but  in  an 
artful,  or,  rather,  artist's  humour.  I  wish  to 
give  myself  up  to  other  sensations.  English 
ought  to  be  kept  up.  It  may  be  interesting  to 
you  to  pick  out  some  lines  from  Hyperion,  and 
put  a  mark  X  to  the  false  beauty  proceeding 
from  art,  and  one  ||  to  the  true  voice  of  feeling. 
Upon  my  soul  't  was  imagination  —  I  cannot 
make  the  distinction  —  every  now  and  then 
there  is  a  Miltonio  intonation  —  but  I  cannot 
make  the  division  properly.'  From  the  silence 
regarding  the  poem  in  his  after  letters,  it  would 
appear  that  he  left  it  at  this  stage. 

That  Keats  designed  a  large  epic  in  Hype- 
rion, which  was  to  be  in  ten  books,  is  plain,  but 
it  is  also  tolerably  clear  that  he  abandoned  his 
purpose,  for  he  did  not  actually  forbid  the 
publication  of  the  fragfment,  though  it  is  doubt- 
ful if  the  whole  reason  for  his  action  is  given 
in  the  Publishers^  Advertisement  to  the  1820 
volume,  containing  the  poem.  *  If  any  apology 
be  thought  necessary,'  it  is  there  said,  '  for  the 


198 


appearance  of  the  unfinished  poem  of  Hyperion, 
the  publishers  beg  to  state  that  they  alone  are 
responsible,  as  it  was  printed  at  their  particular 
request,  and  contrary  to  the  wish  of  the  au- 
thor. The  poem  was  intended  to  have  been  of 
equal  length  with  Endymion,  but  the  reception 
g^ven  to  that  work  discourage  the  author 
from  proceeding.' 

Keats's  friend  Woodhouae,  in  his  interleaved 
and  annotated  copy  of  Endymion,  says  of  Hy- 
perion:  'The  poem  if  completed  would  have 
treated  of  the  dethronement  of  Hyperion,  the 
former  Ck>d  of  the  Sun,  by  Apollo,  —  and  inci- 
dentally of  those  of  Oc<»anus  by  Neptune,  of 
Saturn  by  Jupiter,  etc.,  and  of  the  war  of  the 
Giants  for  Saturn's  reSstablishment,  with  other 
events,  of  which  we  have  but  very  dark  hints  in 
the  mythological  poets  of  Greece  and  Rome.' 

It  is  not  impossible  that  besides  the  inertia 
produced  by  diminution  of  physical  powers,  an- 
other reason  existed  for  Keats's  failure  to  com- 
plete his  poem.  In  the  two  full  books  which 
we  have,  he  had  stated  so  fully  and  explicitly 
the  underlying  thought  in  his  interpretation  of 
the  myth  that  his  interest  in  any  delineation 
of  a  hopeless  struggle  might  well  have  been 
unequal  to  the  task.  The  speeches  successively 
of  Oceanus  and  Clymene  which  so  enraged 
Enceladus  were  the  masculine  and  feminine 
confessions  that  as  their  own  supremacy  over 
the  antecedent  chaos  had  been  due  to  the  law 
which  made  order  expel  disorder,  so  the  suprem- 
acy of  the  new  race  of  gods  over  them  was 
due  to  the  still  further  law 

*  That  first  in  beauty  should  be  first  in  might.* 

Nay,  more,  the  vision  they  have  is  not  of  a 
restoration  of  the  old  order,  but  of  the  defeat  of 
the  new  by  some  still  more  distant  evolution. 

*  Another  race  may  drive 
Our  conquerors  to  mourn  as  we  do  now.* 

Of  the  relation  of  this  poem  to  Hyperion,  a 
Vision,  see  the  Appendix,  where  the  other  fn^- 
ment  is  printed. 


/t 


HYPERION 


199 


BOOK  I 

Dkep  in  the  shady  sadness  of  a  vale 

Far  sunken  from  the  healthy  breath  of 

mom. 
Far  from  the  fiery  noon,  and  eve's  one 

star, 
Sat  gray-hair'd  Saturn,  quiet  as  a  stone, 
Still  as  the  silence  round  about  his  lair; 
Forest  on  forest  hung  about  his  head 
Like  cloud  on  cloud.    No  stir  of  air  was 

there, 
Not  so  much  life  as  on  a  summer's  day 
Robs  not  one  light  seed  from  the  feather'd 

grass, 
But  where  the  dead  leaf  fell,  there  did  it 

rest.  10 

A  stream  went  voiceless  by,  still  deadened 

more 
By  reason  of  his  fallen  divinity 
Spreading  a  shade:  the  Naiad   'mid  her 

reeds 
Press'd  her  cold  finger  closer  to  her  lips. 

Along  the  margin-sand  large  foot-marks 

went. 
No  further  than  to  where  his  feet  had 

stray'd. 
And  slept  there  since.     Upon  the  sodden 

gTovmd 
His  old  right  hand  lay  nerveless,  listless, 

dead, 
Unsceptred;  and  his  realmless  eyes  were 

closed ; 
While  his  bow'd  head  seem'd  list'ning  to 

the  Rarth,  20 

His  ancient  mother,  for  some  comfort  yet. 

It  seem'd  no  force  could  wake  him  from 

his  place; 
But  there  came  one,  who  with  a  kindred 

hand 
Touch'd  his  wide  shoulders,  after  bending 

low 
With  reverence,  though  to  one  who  knew 

it  not. 
She  was  a  Groddess  of  the  infant  world; 
By  her  in  stature  the  tall  Amazon 


Had  stood  a  pigmy's  height:   she  would 

have  ta'en 
Achilles  by  the  hair  and  bent  his  neck; 
Or  with  a  finger  stay'd  Ixion's  wheel.       30 
Her  face  was  large  as  that  of  Memphian 

sphinx, 
Pedestal'd  haply  in  a  palace-court. 
When  sages  look'd  to  Egypt  for  their  lore. 
But  oh  !  how  unlike  marble  was  that  face; 
How  beautiful,  if  sorrow  had  not  made 
Sorrow  more  beautiful  than  Beauty's  self. 
There  was  a  listening  fear  in  her  regard. 
As  if  calamity  had  but  begun; 
As  if  the  vanward  clouds  of  evil  days       39 
Had  spent  their  malice,  and  the  sullen  rear 
Was  with  its  stored  thunder  labouring  up. 
One  hand  she  press'd  upon   that  aching 

spot 
Where  beats  the  human  heart,  as  if  just 

there. 
Though  an  immortal,  she  felt  cruel  pain: 
The  other  upon  Saturn's  bended  neck 
She  laid,  and  to  the  level  of  hb  ear 
Leaning  with  parted  lips,  some  words  she 

spake 
In  solemn  tenour  and  deep  organ  tone: 
Some  mourning  words,  which  in  our  feeble 

tongue 
Would  come  in  these  like  accents;  O  how 

frail  50 

To  that  large  utterance  of  the  early  Gods  ! 
'  Saturn,    look    up  !  —  though  wherefore, 

poor  old  King  ? 
I  have  no  comfort  for  thee,  no  not  one: 
I  cannot  say,  **  O  wherefore  sleepest  thou  ?  " 
For  heaven  is  parted  from  thee,  and  the 

earth 
Knows  thee  not,  thus  afflicted,  for  a  God; 
And  ocean  too,  with  all  its  solemn  noise. 
Has  from  thy  sceptre  pass'd;  and  all  the 

air 
Is  emptied  of  thine  hoary  majesty. 
Thy  thunder,  conscious  of  the  new  com- 
mand, 60 
Rumbles  reluctant  o'er  our  fallen  house; 
And  thy  sharp  lightning  in    unpractised 

hands 
Scorches  and  bums  our  once  serene  domain. 


200 


HYPERION 


O  aching  time  !  O  moments  big  as  years  ! 
All  as  ye  pass  swell  out  the  monstrous 

truth, 
And  press  it  so  upon  our  weary  griefs 
That  unbelief  has  not  a  space  to  breathe. 
Saturn,  sleep    on:  —  O   thoughtless,  why 

did  I 
Thus  violate  thy  slumbrous  solitude  ? 
Why  should  I  ope  thy  melancholy  eyes  ?  70 
Saturn,  sleep  on !    while    at    thy   feet  I 

weep.* 

As  when,  upon  a  tranced  summer-night. 
Those    green -robed  senators   of    mighty 

woods. 
Tall  oaks,  branch-charmed  by  the  earnest 

stars. 
Dream,  and  so  dream  all  night  without  a 

stir. 
Save  from  one  gpradual  solitary  gust 
Which  comes  upon  the  silence,  and  dies  off. 
As  if  the  ebbing  air  had  but  one  wave: 
So  came  these  words  and  went;  the  while 

in  tears 
She  touch'd  her  fair  large  forehead  to  the 
ground,  80 

Just  where  her  falling  hair  might  be  out- 
spread 
A  soft  and  silken  mat  for  Saturn's  feet. 
One  moon,  with  alteration  slow,  had  shed 
Her  silver  seasons  four  upon  the  night. 
And  still  these  two  were  postured  motion- 
less, 
Like  natural  sculpture  in  cathedral  cavern ; 
The  frozen  God  still  couchant  on  the  earth. 
And  the  sad  Goddess  weeping  at  his  feet: 
Until  at  length  old  Saturn  lifted  up  89 

His  faded  eyes,  and  saw  his  kingdom  gone. 
And  all  the  gloom  and  sorrow  of  the  place. 
And  that  fair  kneeling  Goddess;  and  then 

spake. 
As  with  a  palsied  tongue,  and  while  his 

beard 
Shook  horrid  with  such  aspen-malady: 
<  O  tender  spouse  of  gold  Hyperion, 
Thea,  I  feel  thee  ere  I  see  thy  face; 
Look  up,  and  let  me  see  our  doom  in  it; 
Look  up,  and  tell  me  if  this  feeble  shape 


Is  Saturn's;  tell  me,  if  thou  hear'st  the 

voice 
Of  Saturn;  tell  me,  if  this  wrinkling  brow. 
Naked  and  bare  of  its  great  diadem,        xoi 
Peers  like  the  front  of  Saturn.    Who  had 

power 
To  make  me  desolate  ?  whence  came  the 

strength  ? 
How  was  it  nurtured  to  such  bursting  forth. 
While  Fate  seem'd  strangled  in  my  nervous 

grasp? 
But  it  is  so;  and  I  am  smother'd  up, 
And  buried  from  all  godlike  exercise 
Of  influence  benign  on  planets  pale, 
Of  admonitions  to  the  winds  and  seas,     109 
Of  peaceful  sway  above  man's  harvesting. 
And  all  those  acts  which  Deity  supreme 
Doth  ease  its  heart  of  love  in.  —  I  am  gone 
Away  from  my  own  bosom:  I  have  left 
My  strong  identity,  my  real  self, 
Somewhere  between  the  throne,  and  where 

I  sit 
Here  on  this  spot  of  earth.     Search,  Thea, 

search  ! 
Open  thine  eyes  eteme,  and  sphere  them 

round 
Upon  all  space:  space  starr'd,  and  lorn  of 

light; 
Space   region'd  with  life-air,  and   barren 

void; 
Spaces  of  fire,  and  all  the  yawn  of  hell.  120 
Search,  Thea,  search  I  and  tell  me  if  thou 

seest 
A  certain  shape  or  shadow,  making  way 
With  wings  or  chariot  fierce  to  repossess 
A  heaven  he  lost  ere  while:  it   must  —  it 

must 
Be  of  ripe  prog^ss  —  Saturn  must  be  King. 
Tes,  there  must  be  a  golden  victory; 
There  must  be  Gods  thrown   down,   and 

trumpets  blown 
Of  triumph  calm,  and  hymns  of  festival 
Upon  the  gold  clouds  metropolitan. 
Voices  of  soft  proclaim,  and  silver  stir    130 
Of  strings  in  hollow  shells;  and  there  shall 

be 
Beautiful  things  made  new,  for  the  sur^ 

prise 


/t 


HYPERION 


20I 


Of  the  skj-ohildren;  I  will  give  oommand: 
Thea  !  Thea !  Thea  !  where  is  Saturn  ? ' 

This  passion  lifted  him  apon  his  feet, 
And  made  his  hands  to  straggle  in  the  air. 
His  Druid  locks  to  shake  and  ooze  with 

sweaty 
His  eyes  to  fever  out,  his  voice  to  cease. 
He  stood,  and  heard  not  Thea's  sobbing 

deep;  139 

A  little  time,  and  then  again  he  snatch'd 
Utterance  thus:  — '  But  cannot  I  create  ? 
Cannot  I  form  ?     Cannot  I  fashion  forth 
Another  world,  another  universe. 
To  overbear  and  crumble  this  to  nought  ? 
Where  is  another  chaos  ?  Where  ? '  —  That 

word 
Found  way  unto  Olympus,  and  made  quake 
The  rebel  three.  —  Thea  was  startled  up. 
And  in  her  bearing  was  a  sort  of  hope. 
As  thus  she  quick-voiced  spake,  yet  full  of 

awe. 

'This  cheers  our  fallen  house:  come  to 
our  friends,  150 

0  Saturn !    come    away,  and  g^ve  them 

heart; 

1  know  the  covert,  for  thence    came    I 

hither.' 
Thus  brief;  then  with  beseeching  eyes  she 

went 
With  backward  footing  through  the  shade 

a  space: 
He  followed,  and  she  tum'd  to  lead  the 

way 
Through  aged  boughs,  that  yielded  like  the 

mist 
Which  eagles    cleave    upmounting    from 

their  nest. 

Meanwhile  in  other  realms  big  tears 
were  shed. 

More  sorrow  like  to  this,  and  such  like 
woe. 

Too  huge  for  mortal  tongue  or  pen  of 
scribe:  160 

The  Titans  fierce,  self  -  hid,  or  prison- 
bound, 


Groan'd  for  the  old  alleg^iance  once  more, 
And  listened  in  sharp  pain  for  Saturn's 

voice. 
But  one  of  the  whole  mammoth-brood  still 

kept 
His  sov'reignty,  and  rule,  and  majesty; 
BUizing  Hyperion  on  his  orbed  fire 
Still  sat,  still  snufPd  the  incense,  teeming 

up 
From  man  to  the  sun's  God;  yet  unsecure  : 
For  as  among  us  mortals  omens  drear 
Fright  and  perplex,  so  also  shudder'd  he. 
Not  at  dog^s  howl,  or  gloom-bird's  hated 
screech,  171 

Or  the  familiar  visiting  of  one 
Upon  the  first  toll  of  his  passing-bell. 
Or  prophesyings  of  the  midnight  lamp; 
But  horrors,  portion'd  to  a  giant  nerve, 
Oft    made    Hyperion  ache.      His   palace 

bright 
Bastion'd  with  pyramids  of  glowing  gold. 
And  touch'd  with  shade  of   bronzed  obe- 
lisks. 
Glared  a  blood-red  through  all  its  thousand 

courts. 
Arches,  and  domes,  and  fiery  galleries;   180 
And  all  its  curtains  of  Aurorian  clouds 
Flush'd  angerly:  while  sometimes  eagles' 

wings. 
Unseen  before  by  Gods  or  wondering  men, 
Darken'd  the  place;   and  neighing  steeds 

were  heard, 
Not  heard  before  by  Gods  or  wondering 

men. 
Also,    when    he    would    taste    the    spicy 

wreaths 
Of  incense,  breathed  aloft  from  sacred  hills. 
Instead  of  sweets,  his  ample  palate  took 
Savour  of  poisonous  brass  and  metal  sick: 
And  so,  when  harbour'd  in  the  sleepy  west. 
After  the  full  completion  of  fair  day,       191 
For  rest  divine  upon  exalted  couch 
And  slumber  in  the  arms  of  melody. 
He  paced  away  the  pleasant  hours  of  ease 
With  stride  colossal,  on  from  hall  to  hall; 
While  far  within  each  aisle  and  deep  re- 
cess, 
His  winged  minions  in  close  clusters  stood, 


202 


HYPERION 


Amazed  and  fall  of  fear;  like  awiiona  men 
Who  on  wide  plains    gather  in  panting 

troopsy 
When  earthgnakfiH  jar  their  battlementi 

and  towers.  aoo 

Even  now»  while  Satozny  roused  from  iej 

trance, 
Went  step  for  step  with  Thea  throogh  the 

woods, 
Hyperion,  leaving  twilight  in  the  rear, 
Came  slope  apon  the  threshold  of  the  west; 
Then,  as  was  wont,  his  palaoe-door  flew  ope 
In  smoothest  silence,  save  what  solemn 

tabes. 
Blown  by  the  serioas  2^phyrs,  gave  of 

sweet 
And  wandering  soands,  slow-breathed  melo- 
dies; 
And  like  a  rose  in  yermeil  tint  and  shape. 
In  fragrance  soft,  and  coolness  to  the  eye,  210 
That  inlet  to  severe  magnificence 
Stood  fall  blown,  for  the  Grod  to  enter  in. 

He  enter'd,  bat  he  enter'd  fall  of  wrath; 
His  flaming  robes  stream'd  oat  beyond  his 

heels, 
And  gave  a  roar,  as  if  of  earthly  fire, 
That  scared  away  the  meek  ethereal  Hours 
And  made  their  dove-wings  tremble.     On 

he  flared. 
From  stately  nave  to  nave,  from  vaolt  to 

vaalt. 
Through  bowers  of  fragrant  and  enwreathed 

light, 
And    diamond -paved    lustrous    long    ar- 
cades, 230 
Until  he  reach'd  the  great  main  cupola; 
There  standing  fierce  beneath,  he  stampt 

his  foot, 
And  from  the  basements  deep  to  the  high 

towers 
Jarr'd  his  own  golden  region;  and  before 
The    quavering    thunder    thereupon    had 

ceased, 
His  voice  leapt  out,  despite  of   godlike 

curb, 
To  this  result:    ^0  dreams  of  day  and 

night! 


O  moDstroos  forms !    O  eC^ies  of  jm^  f 
O  spectres  busy  in  a  eold,  ooid  ^oom  ! 

0  lank-ear'd  Fhantoma  of  Uaek-weeded 

Why  do  I  know  ye?  why  have  I  seen  ye? 

why 
Is  my  eternal  essenee  thos  distiaa^t 
To  see  and  to  behold  these  horrors  new  ? 
Satazn  is  fdlen,  am  I  too  to  &U  ? 
Am  I  to  leave  this  haven  of  my  rest. 
This  eradle  of  my  glory,  this  soft  elime. 
This  calm  laxnrianee  of  Uissfol  light. 
These  crystalline  pavilions,  and  pore  ibmes. 
Of  all  my  Ineent  emjnre  ?    It  is  left 
Deserted,  void,  nor  any  haunt  of  mine.    240 
The  blaze,  the  splendour,  and  the  symme- 

1  cannot  see  — hot  darkness,  death  and 


Even  here,  into  my  centre  of  repose. 
The  shady  visions  come  to  domineer. 
Insult,  and  blind,  and  stifle  up  my  pomp.  — 
Fall  I  — No,  by  TeUus  and  her  briny  robes ! 
Over  the  fiery  frontier  of  my  realms 
I  will  advance  a  terrible  right  arm 
Shall  scare  that  infant  thunderer,  rebel 

Jove, 
And  bid  old  Saturn  take  his  throne  again.' 
He  spake,  and  ceased,  the  while  a  heavier 

threat  ,51 

Held  struggle  with  his  throat,  bat  came 

not  forth; 
For  as  in  theatres  of  crowded  men 
Hubbub    increases    more    they    call    out 

'Hush!' 
So  at  Hyperion's  words  the  Phantoms  pale 
Bestirr'd  themselves,  thrice   horrible  and 

cold; 
And  from  the  mirror'd  level  where  he  stood 
A  mist  arose,  as  from  a  scummy  marsh. 
At  this,  through  all  his  bulk  an  agony 
Crept   gradual,  from  the  feet  unto    the 

crown,  360 

Like  a  lithe  serpent  vast  and  muscular 
Making  slow  way,  with  head  and  neck  con- 
vulsed 
From  over-strained  might     Released,  he 

fled 


HYPERION 


203 


To  the  eattem  gates,  and  full  six  dewy 

boon 
Before  the  dawn  in  season   due    should 

Unshy 
He  breathed  fieree  breath  against  the  sleepy 

portals, 
(Wd  them  of  heavy  Taponrs,  burst  them 

wide 
Suddenly  on  the  ocean's  chilly  streams. 
Hm  planet  orb  of  fire,  whereon  he  rode 
Eaeh  day  from  east  to  west  the  heavens 

throQghy  270 

Span  Rmnd  in  sable  curtaining  of  clouds; 
Not  therefore  veiled  quite,  blindfold,  and 

hid, 
But  efcr  and  anon  the  glancing  spheres, 
Ciidei,  and  arcs,  and  broad-belting  colure, 
GWd  throng  and   wrought  upon  the 

muffling  dark 
Sveet-shaped   lightnings  from  the   nadir 

deep 
Up  to  the  zenith,  —  hieroglyphics  old, 
WUdi  sages  and  keen-eyed  astrologers 
IW  living  on  the  earth,  with  labouring 

thoogfat 
Won  from  the  gaze  of  many  centuries:    280 
^ov  lost,  save  what  we  find  on  remnants 

huge 
OftUme,  or  marble  swart;   their  import 

gone, 
TWir  wisdom  long  since  fled.  —  Two  wings 

this  orb 
feiniB'd  for  glory,  two  fair  argent  wings, 
£fer  exalted  at  the  Grod's  approach: 
Aid  DOW,  from    forth  the    gloom    their 

plumes  immense 
KoMiOiie  by  one,  tiU  all  ontspreaded  were; 
^^bile  still  the  dazzling  globe  maintain'd 


AviitiBg  for  Hyperion's  command. 

ftia  would  he  have  commanded,  fain  took 

torOOe  ago 

^  bid  the  day  begin,  if  but  for  change. 
Ht  might  not:  —  No,  though  a  primeval 

God: 
^  atered  seasons  might  not  be  disturb'd. 
^Wrefoie  the  operations  of  the  dawn 
^^d  in  their  birth,  even  as  here  't  is  told. 


Those  silver  wings  expanded  sisterly. 
Eager  to  sail  their  orb;  the  porches  wide 
Open'd  upon  the  dusk  demesnes  of  night; 
And  the  bright  Titan,  phrenzied  with  new 

woes,  299 

Unused  to  bend,  by  hard  compulsion  bent 
His  spirit  to  the  sorrow  of  the  time; 
And  all  along  a  dismal  rack  of  clouds, 
Upon  the  boundaries  of  day  and  night. 
He  stretch'd  himself  in  grief  and  radiance 

faint. 
There  as  he  lay,  the  Heaven  with  its  stars 
Look'd  down  on  him  with  pity,  and  the 

voice 
Of  Coelus,  from  the  universal  space. 
Thus  whisper'd  low  and  solemn  in  his  ear: 
'  O  brightest  of  my  children  dear,  earth-bom 
And  sky-engendered.  Son  of  Mysteries   310 
All  unrevealed  even  to  the  powers 
Which  met  at  thy  creating;  at  whose  joys 
And  palpitations  sweet,  and  pleasures  soft, 
I,  Coelus,   wonder,   how   they   came    and 

whence ; 
And  at  the  fruits  thereof  what  shapes  they 

be. 
Distinct,  and  visible;  symbols  divine. 
Manifestations  of  that  beauteous  life 
Diffused  unseen  throughout  eternal  space: 
Of  these  new-form'd  art  thou,  oh  brightest 

child! 
Of    these,    thy    brethren    and    the    God- 
desses !  320 
There  is  sad  feud  among  ye,  and  rebellion 
Of  son  against  his  sire.     I  saw  him  fall, 
I  saw  my  first-born    tumbled    from    his 

throne ! 
To  me  his  arms  were  spread,  to  me  his 

voice 
Found  way  from  forth  the  thunders  round 

his  head  ! 
Pale  wox  I,  and  in  vapours  hid  my  face. 
Art  thou,  too,  near  such  doom  ?  vague  fear 

there  is: 
For  I  have  seen  my  sons  most  unlike  Gods. 
Divine  ye  were  created,  and  divine 
In  sad  demeanour,  solemn,  undisturb'd,  330 
Unruffled,  like  high  Gods,  ye  lived  and 

ruled: 


204 


HYPERION 


Now  I    beiwid   ni    yon  fear,  hope,  and 

wntk; 
Aotioos  of  nif»  tmd  passion;  even  as 
I  •••  thsiBy  6m  tlie  mortal  world  beneath, 
uk  mmt  wko  die.  —  This  is  the  grief,  0 

Son! 
8ad  mgn  of  min,  sudden  dismay,  and  fall  1 
Tot  do  thon  strive;  as  thou  art  capable. 
As  thou  canst    move  about,    an  evident 

God; 
And  canst  oppose  to  each  malignant  hour 
£thereal  presence:  —  I  am  but  a  voice;  340 
My  life  b  but  the  life  of  winds  and  tides, 
No  more    than  winds    and    tides    can  I 

avail:  — 
But  thou  canst.  —  Be  thou  therefore  in  the 

van 
Of  circumstance;  yea,  seize  the  arrow's 

barb 
Before  the  tense  string  murmur.  —  To  the 

earth ! 
For  there  thou  wilt  find  Saturn,  and  his 

woes. 
Meantime  I  will  keep  watch  on  thy  bright 

sun, 
And  of  thy  seasons  be  a  careful  nurse.'  — 
£re  half    this  region-whisper    had  come 

down, 
Hyperion  arose,  and  on  the  stars  350 

Lifted  his  curved  lids,  and  kept  them  wide 
Until  it  ceased;  and  still  he  kept  them 

wide: 
And  still  they  were  the  same  bright,  pa- 
tient stars. 
Then  with  a  slow  incline  of    his  broad 

breast. 
Like  to  a  diver  in  the  pearly  seas. 
Forward  he  stoop'd  over  the  airy  shore, 
And  plunged  all  noiseless  into  the  deep 

night. 

BOOK   II 

Just  at  the  self -same  beat  of  Time's  wide 

wings 
Hyperion  slid  into  the  rustled  air. 
And  Saturn   gain'd  with  Thea  that  sad 

place 


Where  Cybele    and    the    bruised    Titans 

moum'd. 
It  was  a  den  where  no  insulting  light 
Could  glimmer  on  their  tears;  where  their 

own  groans 
They  felt,  but  heard  not,  for  the  solid  roar 
Of    thunderous    waterfalls    and    torrents 

hoarse. 
Pouring  a  constant  bulk,  uncertain  where. 
Crag  jutting  forth  to  crag,  and  rocks  that 

seem'd  10 

£ver  as  if  just  rising  from  a  sleep. 
Forehead  to  forehead  held  their  monstrous 

horns; 
And  thus  in  thousand  hugest  phantasies 
Made  a  fit  roofing  to  this  nest  of  woe. 
Instead  of  thrones,  hard  flint  they  sat  upon. 
Couches  of  rugged  stone,  and  slaty  ridge 
Stubbom'd  with  iron.     All  were  not  assem- 
bled: 
Some  chain'd  in  torture,  and  some  wander- 
ing. 
CoBus,  and  Gyg^s,  and  Briaretts, 
Typhon,  and  Dolor,  and  Porphyrion,         20 
With  many  more,  the  brawniest  in  assault, 
Were  pent  in  regions  of  laborious  breath; 
Dungeon'd  in  opaque  element  to  keep 
Their  clenched  teeth  still  clench'd,  and  all 

their  limbs 
Lock'd  up  like  veins  of  metal,  crampt  and 

screw'd; 
Without  a  motion,  save  of  their  big  hearts 
Heaving  in  pain,  and  horribly  convubed 
With  sanguine,  feverous,  boiling  gurge  of 

pulse. 
Mnemosyne  was  straying  in  the  world; 
Far  from  her  moon  had  Phoebe  wandered;  30 
And  many  else  were  free  to  roam  abroad. 
But  for  the  main,  here  found  they  covert 

drear. 
Scarce  images  of  life,  one  here,  one  there. 
Lay  vast  and    edgeways;    like   a  dismal 

cirque 
Of  Druid  stones,  upon  a  forlorn  moor. 
When  the  chill  rain  begins  at  shut  of  eve. 
In  dull  November,  and  their  chancel  vault, 
The  Heaven  itself,  is  blinded  throughout 

night. 


HYPERION 


205 


Eaeh  one  kepi  shroad,  nor  to  his  neighbour 

g»?e 
Or  wordy  or  look»  or  action  of  despair.      40 
Creiii  was  one;  his  ponderous  iron  maoe 
Ujr  bj  him,  and  a  shatter'd  rib  of  rock 
Told  of  his  rage»  ere  he  thos  sank  and 

pined. 
lapetos  another;  in  his  grasp, 
A  serpent's  plashy  neck;  its  barbed  tongue 
Sqoeesed  from  the  gorge,  and  all  its  uo- 

corl'd  length 
Deid;  and  beaanse  the  creature  could  not 

spit 
Iti  poisoa  in  the  eyes  of  conquering  Jove. 
Neit  Cottos:  prone  he  lay,  chin  uppermost, 
Aithongh  in  pain:  for  still  upon  the  flint  50 
He  gmuid    severe  his  skull,  with  open 

month 
Aid  eyes  at  horrid  working.    Nearest  him 
An,  bora  of  most  enormous  Caf, 
Wk  cost  her  mother  Tellus  keener  pangs, 
IVngh  feminine,  than  any  of  her  sons: 
Hon  thoaght  than  woe  was  in  her  dusky 

F«r  ihe  was  prophesying  of  her  glory; 
Aid  in  her  wide  ims^g^ination  stood 
BUm-shaded  temples,  and  high  rival  fanes, 
Bf  OzDs  or  in  Granges'  sacred  isles.  60 

£vai  as  Hope  upon  her  anchor  leans. 
So  laaat  she,  not  so  fair,  upon  a  tusk 
&ed  from  the  broadest  of  her  elephants. 
Abofve  her,  on  a  crag's  uneasy  shelve, 
Cpoa  his  elbow  raised,  all  prostrate  else, 
SUow'd  Enoeladns;  once  tame  and  mild 
As  gruing  ox  nnworried  in  the  meads; 
Xow  tiger-passion'd,  lion-thoughted,  wroth. 
He  meditated,  plotted,  and  even  now 
Wis  horling  mountains    in    that    second 

war,  70 

Voi  long  delay'd,  that  scared  the  younger 

Gods 
To  Ude  themselves  in  forms  of  beast  and 


^oi  tar  henoe  Atlas;  and  beside  him  prone 
the  sire  of  Gorgons.  Neighboured 
dose 

and  Tethys,  in  whose  lap 
Sobl»'d  Clymene  among  her  tangled  hair. 


In  midst  of  all  lay  Themis,  at  the  feet 
Of  Ops  the  queen  all  clouded  round  from 

flight; 
No  shape  distinguishable,  more  than  when 
Thick  night  confounds  the  pine-tops  with 

the  clouds:  80 

And  many  else  whose  names  may  not  be 

told. 
For  when  the  Muse's  wings  are  air-ward 

spread. 
Who  shall  delay  her   flight?    And    she 

must  chant 
Of  Saturn,  and  his  guide,  who  now  had 

climb'd 
With  damp  and  slippery  footing  from  a 

depth 
More  horrid  still.    Above  a  sombre  cliff 
Their  heads  appear'd,  and  up  their  stature 

grew 
Till  on  the  level  height  their  steps  fonnd 

ease: 
Then  Thea  spread  abroad  her  trembling 

arms 
Upon  the  precincts  of  this  nest  of  pain,    90 
And  sidelong  fix'd  her  eye  on  Saturn's 

face: 
There  saw  she  direst  strife;  the  supreme 

God 
At  war  with  all  the  frailty  of  grief. 
Of  rage,  of  fear,  anxiety,  revenge. 
Remorse,  spleen,  hope,  but  most  of  all  de- 
spair. 
Against  these  plagues  he  strove  in  vain: 

for  Fate 
Had  pour'd  a  mortal  oil  upon  his  head, 
A  disanointing  poison:  so  that  Thea, 
Affrighted,  kept  her  still,  and  let  him  pass 
First  onwards  in,  among  the  fallen  tribe,  too 

As  with  us  mortal  men,  the  laden  heart 
Is  persecuted  more,  and  fever'd  more, 
When  it  is  nighing  to  the  mournful  house 
Where  other  hearts  are  sick  of  the  same 

bruise; 
So  Saturn,  as  he  walk'd  into  the  midst. 
Felt  faint,  and  would  have  sunk  among  the 

rest, 
But  that  he  met  £nceladus's  eye. 


2o6 


HYPERION 


Whose  mightiness,  and  awe  of    him,  at 

once 
Came  like  an  inspiration;  and  he  shoated, 
'  Titans,  behold  your  God  1 '  at  which  some 

groan'd;  no 

Some  started  on    their  feet;    some    also 

shoated; 
Some  wept,  some  wail'd  —  all  bow'd  with 

reverence; 
And  Ops,  uplifting  her  black  folded  veil, 
Show'd  her  pale  cheeks,  and  all  her  fore- 
head wan, 
Her  eyebrows   thin  and  jet,  and   hollow 

eyes. 
There  is  a  roaring    in  the    bleak-grown 

pines 
When  Winter  lifts  his  voice;  there  is  a 

noise 
Among  immortals  when  a  God  gives  sign. 
With  hashing  finger,  how  he  means   to 

load 
His  tongue  with  the  full  weight  of  utter- 
less  thought,  I30 
With  thunder,  and  with  music,  and  with 

pomp: 
Such  noise  is  like  the  roar  of  bleak-grown 

pines; 
Which,  when  it  ceases  in  this  mountain'd 

world, 
No  other  sound  succeeds;  but  ceasing  here. 
Among  these  fallen,  Saturn's  voice  there- 
from 
Grew  up  like  organ,  that  begins  anew 
Its   strain,   when  other    harmonies,   stopt 

short, 
Leave  the  dinn'd  air  vibrating  silverly. 
Thus  grew  it  up:  — *  Not  in  my  own  sad 

breast. 
Which  is  its  own  g^at  judge  and  searcher 

out,  130 

Can  I  find  reason  why  ye  should  be  thus: 
Not  in  the  legends  of  the  first  of  days. 
Studied  from  that  old  spirit-leaved  book 
Which  starry  Uranus  with  finger  bright 
Saved  from  the  shores  of  darkness,  when 

the  waves 
Low-ebb'd    still    hid    it    up    in    shallow 

gloom;  — 


And  the  which  book  ye  know  I  ever  kept 
For    my    firm-based    footstool:  —  Ah,   in- 
firm! 
Not  there,  nor  in  sign,  symbol,  or  portent 
Of  element,  earth,  water,  air,  and  fire,  — 
At  war,  at  peace,  or  inteivquarrelling       141 
One  against  one,  or  two,  or  three,  or  all 
Each  several  one  against  the  other  three, 
As  fire  with  air  loud  warring  when  rain- 
floods 
Drown  both,  and  press  them  both  against 

earth's  face. 
Where,  finding  sulphur,  a  quadruple  wrath 
Unhinges  the  poor  world;  —  not  in  that 

strife, 
Wherefrom  I  take  strange  lore,  and  read 

it  deep. 
Can  I  find  reason  why  ye  should  be  thus: 
No,  nowhere  can  unriddle,  though  I  search. 
And  pore  on  Nature's  universal  scroll      151 
Even  to  swooning,  why  ye,  Divinities, 
The  first-bom  of  all  shaped  and  palpable 

Gods, 
Should  cower  beneath  what,  in  comparison, 
Is  untremendous  might.     Yet  ye  are  here, 
O'erwhelm'd,  and  spum'd,  and  batter'd,  ye 

are  here  ! 
O    Titans,  shall    I    say    "Arise!"— Ye 

groan: 
Shall     I     say    "  Crouch  ! "  —  Ye     groan. 

What  can  I  then  ? 
0  Heaven  wide  !  O  unseen  parent  dear  ! 
What  can  I?    Tell  me,  all  ye   brethren 
Gods,  160 

How  we  can  war,  how  engine  our  great 
wrath  ! 

0  speak  your  counsel  now,  for  Saturn's  ear 
Is  all  a-hunger'd.     Thou,  Oceanus, 
Ponderest  high  and  deep;  and  in  thy  face 

1  see,  astonied,  that  severe  content 
Which  comes  of  thought  and  musing:  give 

us  help ! ' 

So  ended  Saturn;  and  the  God  of  the 
Sea, 
Sophist  and  sage,  from  no  Athenian  grove, 
But  cogitation  in  bis  watery  shades. 
Arose,  with  locks  not  oozy,  and  began,     170 


HYPERION 


207 


In  ffloniiiin,  whieh  his  fint-endeavouring 
^  tongue 

Caaght  in&iit-like   from  the    far-foamed 


'Ojeywhom  wrath  consumes!  who,  pas- 

sioii-stiing, 
Writhe  at  defeat,  and  muse  your  agonies  ! 
Sbot  op  joor  senses,  stifle  up  your  ears, 
^j  Toiee  is  not  a  bellows  unto  ire. 
I'et  listen,  ye  who  will,  whilst  I  bring 

proof 
flow  ye,  perforce,  must  be  content  to  stoop ; 
•Aid  in  the  proof  much  comfort  will  I  give, 
If  je  will  take  that  comfort  in  its  truth.  j8o 
We  hU  by  course  of  Nature's  law,  not 

force 
Of  thunder,  or  of  Jotc.  Great  Saturn,  thou 
Bait  sifted  well  the  atom-universe; 
fiit  for  this  reason,  that  thou  art  the  King, 
Aad  only  Uind  from  sheer  supremacy, 
Ose  sveane  was  shaded  from  thine  eyes, 
^Vraogh  which  I  wander'd  to  eternal  truth. 
<Aid  first,  as  thou  wast  not  the  first  of  pow- 
ers, 
^irt  thou  not  the  last;  it  cannot  be; 
"Am  art  not  the  beginning  nor  the  end.  190 
FiQoi  ehaoa  and  parental  darkness  came 
I'iglit,  the    first  fruits  of  that    intestine 

broil, 
iWt  sullen  ferment,  which  for  wondrous 

ends 
Wtt  ripening  in  itself.    The  ripe    hour 

eame, 
^  with  it  light,  and  light  engendering 
^pan  its  own  producer,  forthwith  touch'd 
•^  whole  enormous  matter  into  life. 
"?Mi  that  very  hour,  our  parentage, 
^Heavens  and  the  Earth,  were  manifest: 
^  thou  first-bom,  and  we  the  giant- 
nee,  200 

'^  ourselves  ruling  new  and  beauteous 

leslms. 
^^  eomes  the  pain  of  truth,  to  whom  't  is 

ptin; 
^% i  for  to  btar  all  naked  truths, 
f^  to  eavisage  circumstance,  all  calm, 
^  V  the  top  of  sovereignty.      Mark 
WiUI 


As  Heaven  and  Earth  are  fairer,  fairer  far 
Than  Chaos  and  blank  Darkness,  though 

once  chiefs; 
And  as  we  show  beyond  that  Heaven  and 

Earth 
In  form  and  shape  compact  and  beautiful. 
In  will,  in  action  free,  companionship,     aio 
And  thousand  other  signs  of  purer  Ufe; 
So  on  our  heels  a  fresh  perfection  treads, 
A  power  more  strong  in  beauty,  bom  of  us 
And  fated  to  excel  us,  as  we  pass 
In  glory  that  old  Darkness:  nor  are  we 
Thereby  more  conquer'd,  than  by  us  the 

rule 
Of  shapeless  Chaos.     Say,  doth  the  dull 

soil 
Quarrel  with  the  proud  forests  it  hath  f 
And  feedeth  still,  more  comely  than  itself  ? 
Can  it  deny  the  chief dom  of  green  gproves  ? 
Or  shall  the  tree  be  envious  of  the  dove    221 
Because  it  cooeth,  and  hath  snowy  wings 
To  wander  wherewithal  and  find  its  joys  ? 
We  are  such  forest-trees,   and  our    fair 

boughs 
Have  bred  forth,  not  pale  solitary  doves. 
But  eagles  golden-feather'd,  who  do  tower 
Above  us  in  their  beauty,  and  must  reign 
In  right  thereof;  for  't  is  the  eternal  law 
That  first  in  beautju^ould  be    first   in 

might:  229 

Yea,  by  that  law,  another  race  may  drive 
Our  conquerors  to  mourn  as  we  do  now. 
Have  ye  beheld  the  young  God  of  the  Seas, 
My  dispossessor  ?    Have  ye  seen  his  face  ? 
Have  ye  beheld  his  chariot,  foam'd  along 
By  noble  winged  creatures  he  hath  made  ? 
I  saw  him  on  the  calmed  waters  scud, 
With  such  a  glow  of  beauty  in  his  eyes, 
That  it  enforced  me  to  bid  sad  farewell 
To  all  my  empire;  farewell  sad  I  took, 
And  hither  came,  to  see  how  dolorous  fate 
Had  wrought  upon  ye;  and  how  I  might 

best  241 

Give  cons61ation  in  this  woe  extreme. 
Receive  the  truth,  and  let  it  be  your  balm.' 

Whether  through   poz'd  conviction,  or 
disdain. 


208 


HYPERION 


They  guarded  silence,  when  Oceanos 
Left  mormaring,  what  deepest  thought  can 

tell? 
But  so  it  was,  none  answer'd  for  a  space, 
Save  one  whom  none  regarded,  Cljmene: 
And  yet  she  answer'd  not,  only  complain'd, 
With    hectic    lips,  and  eyes  up -looking 

mild,  250 

Thus  wording  timidly  among  the  fierce: 
*  O  Father,  I  am  here  the  simplest  voice, 
And  all  my  knowledge  is  that  joy  is  gone. 
And  this  thing  woe  crept  in  among  our 

hearts. 
There  to  remain  for  ever,  as  I  fear: 
I  would  not  bode  of  evil,  if  I  thought 
So  weak  a  creature  could  turn  off  the  help 
Which  by  just  right  should  come  of  mighty 

Gods; 
\  Yet  let  me  tell  my  sorrow,  let  me  tell 
I  Of  what  I  heard,  and  how  it  made  me 

weep,  260 

And  know  that  we  had  parted  from  all 

rhope. 
I  stood  upon  a  shore,  a  pleasant  shore. 
Where  a  sweet  clime  was  breathed  from  a 

land 
Of    fragrance,  quietness,  and   trees,  and 

flowers. 
Full  of  calm  joy  it  was,  as  I  of  grief; 
Too  full  of  joy  and  soft  delicious  warmth; 
So  that  I  felt  a  movement  in  my  heart 
To  chide,  and  to  reproach  that  solitude 
With  songs  of  misery,  music  of  our  woes; 
And  sat  me  down,  and  took  a  mouthed 

shell  370 

And  murmur'd  into  it,  and  made  melody  — 

0  melody  no  more  I  for  while  I  sang. 
And  with  poor  skill  let  pass  into  the  breeze 
The  dull  shell's  echo,  from  a  bowery  strand 
Just  opposite,  an  island  of  the  sea, 
There  came  enchantment  with  the  shifting 

wind. 
That  did  both  drown  and  keep  alive  my 
ears. 

1  threw  my  shell  away  upon  the  sand. 
And  a  wave  fill'd  it,  as  my  sense  was  fill'd 
With  that  new  blissful  golden  melody.    280 

I  A  living  death  was  in  each  gush  of  sounds. 


Each  family  of  rapturous  hurried  notes. 
That  fell,  one  after  one,  yet  all  at  once, 
Like  pearl  beads  dropping  sudden  from 

their  string: 
And  then  another,  then  another  strain. 
Each  like  a  dove  leaving  its  olive  perch, 
With  music  wing'd  instead  of  silent  plumes, 
To  hover  round  my  head,  and  make  me 

sick 
Of  joy  and  grief  at  once.    Grief  overcame. 
And  I  was  stopping  up  my  frantic  ears,  390 
When,  past  all  hindrance  of  my  trembling 

hands, 
A  voice  came  sweeter,  sweeter  than  all 

tune. 
And  still  it  cried,  **  Apollo  I  young  Apollo  ! 
The  morning-bright  Apollo !  young  Apol- 
lo!" 
I  fled,  it  f ollow'd  me,  and  cried,  **  Apollo  ! " 
O  Father,  and  O  Brethren,  had  ye  felt 
Those  pains  of  mine;  O  Saturn,  hadst  thon 

felt. 
Ye  would  not  call  this  too  indulged  tongue 
Presumptuous,  in  thus  venturing    to    be 

heard.' 

So  far  her  voice  flow'd  on,  like  timorous 
brook  300 

That,  lingering  along  a  pebbled  coast. 
Doth  fear  to  meet  the  sea:  but  sea  it  met. 
And    shudder'd;     for    the    overwhelming 

voice 
Of  huge  Enceladus  swallow'd  it  in  wrath: 
The  ponderous  syllables,  like  sullen  waves 
In  the  half-glutted  hollows  of  reef-rocks, 
Came  booming  thus,  while  still  upon  his 

arm 
He  lean'd;  not  rising,  from  supreme  con- 
tempt. 
*  Or  shall  we  listen  to  the  over-wise. 
Or  to  the  over^foolish  giant,  Gods  ?         310 
Not  thunderbolt  on  thunderbolt,  till  all 
That  rebel    Jove's  whole    armoury   were 

spent, 
Not  world  on  world  upon  these  shoulders 

piled. 
Could  agonize  me  more  than  baby-words 
In  midst  of  this  dethronement  horrible. 


HYPERION 


209 


Spetk  1  rottr !  shout !  yell !  ye  sleepy  Ti- 

tsosalL 
Do  Ts  forget  the  blows,  the  buffets  vile  ? 
Are  je  not  smitten  by  a  youngling  arm  ? 
Dott  tboo  forget,  sham  Monarch  of  the 

Wares, 
Thy  Maiding  in  the  seas  ?    What !  have  I 

roused  ^  320 

Tour  spleens  with  so  few  simple  words  as 

these? 
0  jqjr !  for  now  I  see  ye  are  not  lost: 
0  py  I  for  now  I  see  a  thousand  eyes 
Wide -glaring  for  revenge.'  —  As  this  he 


He  Uffced  up  his  stature  vast,  and  stood, 
StiD  without  intermission  speaking  thus: 
*Koir  ye  are  flames,  1 11  tell  you  how  to 

hum. 
Aid  purge  the  ether  of  our  enemies; 
How  to  feed  fierce  the  crooked  stings  of  fire. 
Aid  singe  away  the  swollen   clouds  of 

Jove,  330 

Stiffing  that  puny  essence  in  its  tent. 
0  let  him  feel  the  evil  he  hath  done; 
far  thoB^  I  scorn  Oceanus's  lore. 
Kadi  pain  have  I  for  more  than  loss  of 


Tht  days  of  peace  and  slumberous  calm 

are  fled; 
Tkoee  days,  all  innocent  of  scathing  war. 
When  an  the  fair  Existences  of  heaven 
Cime  open-eyed  to  guess  what  we  would 

speak:  — 
That  was  before  our  brows  were  taught  to 

frown, 
Befoiw  our  lips    knew  else    but    solemn 

sounds;  340 

That  was   before  we    knew  the  winged 

thing, 
Vietoty,  might  be  lost,  or  might  be  won. 
And  be  ye  mindful  that  Hyperion, 
Oar  brightest    brother,    still    is    undis- 


Hyperioo,  lo !  his  radiance  is  here  I ' 

AD  eyes  were  on  Enceladus's  face. 
Aid  they  beheld,  while  still  Hyperion's 


Flew  from  his  lips  up  to  the  vaulted  rocksy 
A  pallid  gleam  across  his  features  stem: 
Not  savage,  for  he  saw  full  many  a  Grod 
Wroth  as  himself.    He  look'd  upon  them 

aU,  35, 

And  in  each  face  he  saw  a  gleam  of  light. 
But  splendider  in  Saturn's,  whose    hoar 

locks 
Shone  like  the  bubbling  foam  about  a  keel 
When  the  prow  sweeps  into  a  midnight 

cove. 
In  pale  and  silver  silence  they  remained, 
Till  suddenly  a  splendour,  like  the  mom. 
Pervaded  all  the  beetling  gloomy  steeps. 
All  the  sad  spaces  of  oblivion. 
And  every  gulf,  and  every  chasm  old,     360 
And  every  height,  and  every  sullen  depth, 
Voiceless,  or  hoarse  with  loud  tormented 

streams: 
And  all  the  everlasting  cataracts. 
And  all  the  headlong  torrents  far  and  near, 
Mantled    before    in    darkness    and    huge 

shade, 
Now  saw  the  light  and  made  it  terrible. 
It  was  Hyperion:  —  a  granite  peak 
His  bright  feet  touch'd,  and  there  he  stay'd 

to  view 
The  misery  his  brilliance  had  betray'd  ^ 
To  the  most  hateful  seeing  of  itself.      ^70 
Golden  his  hair  of  short  Numidian  curl. 
Regal  his  shape  majestic,  a  vast  shade 
In  midst  of  his  own  brightness,  like  the 

bulk 
Of  Menmon's  image  at  the  set  of  sun 
To  one   who  travels    from    the    dusking 

East: 
Sighs,  too,  as  mournful  as  that  Memnon's 

harp, 
He  utter'd,  while  his  hands  contemplative 
He  press'd  together,  and  in  silence  stood. 
Despondence  seized  again  the  fallen  Gods 
At  sight  of  the  dejected  King  of  Day,     380 
And  many  hid  their  faces  from  the  light: 
But  fierce  Enceladus  sent  forth  his  eyes 
Among  the    brotherhood;    and,   at    their 

glare, 
Uprose  I&petus,  and  CreUs  too, 
And  Phorcus,  sea-bom,  and  together  strode 


2IO 


HYPERION 


To  where  he  towered  on  his  eminenee. 
There  those  four  shouted  forth  old  Satom's 

name; 
Hjperion  fitnn  the  peak  load  answered 

'Saturn!' 
Saturn  sat  near  the  Mother  of  the  Gods, 
In  whose  face  was  no  joy,  though  all  the 

GrOds  390 

GaTe  from  thdrholiow  throats  the  name 
of  « Saturn  I' 

BOOR  lU 

Thus  in  alternate  uproar  and  sad  peace. 

Amazed  were  those  Titans  utterly. 

O  leare  them,  Muse !    O  leave  them  to 

their  woes; 
For  thou  art  weak  to  sing  sueh  tumults 

dire: 
A  solitary  sorrow  best  befits 
Thy  lips,  and  antheming  a  lonely  grief. 
LeaTO  them,  O  Muse  !  for  thou  anon  wOt 

find 
Many  a  fallen  old  Divinity 
/Wandering  in  vain  abont  bewildered  shores. 
Meantime  touch  piously  the  Delphic  harp, 
And    not    a    wind    of    heaven    but   will 

breathe  1 1 

In  aid  soft  warble  from  the  Dorian  flute; 
For  lo  !  't  is  for  the  Father  of  all  verse. 
Flush  every  thing  that  hath  a  vermeil  hue, 
Let  the  rose  glow  intense  and  warm  the  air. 
And  let  the  clouds  of  even  and  of  mom 
Float  in  voluptuous  fleeces  o'er  the  hills; 
Let  the  red  wine  within  the  goblet  boil. 
Cold  as  a  bubbling  well;  let  faint-lipp'd 

shells, 
On  sands  or  in  g^eat  deeps,  vermilion  turn 
Through  all  their  labyrinths;  and  let  the 

maid  ai 

Blush  keenly,  as  with  some  warm  kiss  sur- 
prised. 
Chief  isle  of  the  embowered  Cyclades, 
Rejoice,  O  Delos,  with  thine  olives  green. 
And  poplars,  and  lawn-shading  palms,  and 

beech. 
In  which  the  Zephyr  breathes  the  loudest 

song, 


And  haseb  thi^  da^-stenun'd  beneath 

the  shade: 
i^Ilo  is  onee  more  the  golden  theme^ ! 
Where  was  he,  when  the  Giant  of  the  Sun 
Stood  bri^^  amid  the  sorrow  of  his  peers  ? 
Together  had  he  left  his  moUier  hdT         31 
And  his  twin-sister  sleeping  in  their  bower, 
And  in  the    momine  twilight  wandered 

forth 
Beside  the  osiers  of  a  rivulet. 
Fun  anUe-deep  in  lilies  of  the  vale. 
The  nightingale  had  oeased,  and  a  few 


Were  lingering  in  the  heavens,  while  the 

thrush 
Began  calm-throated.    Throughout  all  the 

isle 
There  was  no  covert,  no  retired  cave 
Unhaunted  by  the    murmurous  noise  of 
waves,  40 

Though  scarcely  heard  in  many  a  green  re- 
cess. 
He  listen'd,  and  he  wept,  and  his  bright 

tears 
Went  trickling  down  the  golden  bow  he 

held. 
Thus  with  half-shut  suffused  eyes  he  stood. 
While  from  beneath  some  cumbrous  boughs 

hard  by 
With  solemn  step  an  awful  Goddess  came. 
And  there  was  purport  in  her  looks  for 

him. 
Which  he  with  eager  guess  began  to  read 
Perplex'd,  the  while  melodiously  he  said: 
'  How  cam'st  thou  over  the  unf ooted  sea  ? 
Or  hath  that  antique    mien    and    robed 
form  51 

Moved  in  these  vales  invisible  till  now  ? 
Sure  I  have  heard  those  vestments  sweep* 

ing  o'er 
The  fallen  leaves,  when  I  have  sat  alone 
In  cool  mid-forest.     Surelv  I  have  traced 
The  rustle  of  those  ample  skirts  about 
These  gprassy  solitudes,  and  seen  the  flow- 
ers 
Lift  up  their  heads,  and  still  the  whisper 

pass'd. 
Groddess  !    I  have  beheld  those  eyes  before. 


/t 


HYPERION 


211 


And  their  eternal  calm,  and  all  that  face, 
Or  I  have  dream'd.'  —  *  Yes,'  said  the  su- 
preme shape,  6i 
^Thon  hast  dream'd  of  me;  and  awaking 

up 
Didst  find  a  lyre  all  golden  bj  thy  side, 
Whose  strings  touched  by  thy  fiugers,  all 

the  vast 
Unwearied  ear  of  the  whole  universe 
Listened  in  pain  and  pleasure  at  the  birth 
Of  such  new  tuneful  wonder.     Is't  not 

strange 
That  thou  shouldst  weep,  so  g^ifted  ?    Tell 

me,  youth, 
What  sorrow  thou  canst  feel;  for  I  am  sad 
When  thou  dost  shed  a  tear:  explain  thy 

g^efs  70 

To  one  who  in  this  lonely  isle  hath  been 
The  watcher  of  thy  sleep  and  hours  of  life, 
From  the  young  day  when  first  thy  infant 

hand 
Pluck'd  witless  the  weak  flowers,  till  thine 

arm 
Could  bend  that  bow  heroic  to  all  times. 
Show    thy  heart's   secret  to   an    ancient 

Power 
Who  hath  forsaken  old  and  sacred  thrones 
For  prophecies  of  thee,  and  for  the  sake 
Of  loveliness  new-bom.'  —  Apollo  then. 
With  sudden  scrutiny  and  gloomless  eyes. 
Thus  answer'd,  while  his  white  melodious 

throat  81 

Throbbed  with   the  syllables:  —  'Mnemo- 

syue  ! 
Thy  name  is  on  my  tongue,  I  know  not 

how; 
Why  should  I  tell  thee  what  thou  so  well 

seest  ? 
Why  should  I  strive  to  show  what  from 

thy  lips 
Would  come  no  mystery  ?    For  me,  dark, 

dark, 
And  painful  vile  oblivion  seals  my  eyes: 
I  strive  to  search  wherefore  I  am  so  sad, 
Uutil  a  melancholy  numbs  my  limbs; 
And  then  upon  the  grass  I  sit,  and  moan,    90 
Like  one  who  once  had  wing^.  —  O  why 

should  I 


Feel  cursed  and  thwarted,  when  the  lieg^ 

less  air 
Yields  to  my  step  aspirant  ?  why  should  I 
Spurn   the  green  turf  as  hateful  to  my 

feet? 
Goddess  benign,  point  forth  some  unknown 

thing: 
Are  there  not  other  regions  th&n  this  isle  ? 
What  are  the  stars  ?    There  is  the  sun,  the 

sun  1 
And  the  most  patient    brilliance  of  the 

moon! 
And  stars  by  thousands !    Point  me  out 

the  way 
To  any  one  particular  beauteous  star,       xoo 
And  I  will  flit  into  it  with  my  lyre, 
And  make  its  silvery  splendour  pant  with 

bliss. 
I  have  heard  the  cloudy  thunder:  Where 

is  power  ? 
Whose  hand,  whose  essence,  what  divinity 
Makes  this  alarum  in  the  elements. 
While  I  here  idle  listen  on  the  shores 
In  fearless  yet  in  aching  ignorance  ? 
O  tell  me,  lonely  Goddess,  by  thy  harp, 
That  waileth  every  mom  and  eventide. 
Tell    me  why  thus  I  rave,  about    these 

groves !  no 

Mute  thou  remainest  —  Mute  I  yet  I  can 

read 
A  wondrous  lesson  in  thy  silent  face  : 
Knowledge  enormous  makes  a  God  of  me. 
Names,  deeds,  gray  legends,  dire  events, 

rebellions, 
Majesties,  sovran  voices,  agonies. 
Creations  and  destroyings,  all  at  once 
Pour  into  the  wide  hollows  of  my  brain. 
And  deify  me,  as  if  some  blithe  wine 
Or  bright  elixir  peerless  I  had  drunk,      1x9 
And  so  become  immortal.'  —  Thus  the  Grod, 
While  his  enkindled  eyes,  with  level  glance 
Beneath  his  white  soft  temples,'  steadfast 

kept 
Trembling  with  light  upon  Mnemosyue. 
Soon  wild  commotions  shook  him,  and  made 

flush 
All  the  immortal  fairness  of  his  limbs: 
Most  like  the  struggle  at  the  gate  of  death; 


212 


HYPERION 


Or  liker  still  to  one  who  should  take  leave 
Of  pale  immortal  death,  and  with  a  pang 
As  hot  as  death's  is  ohill,  with  fierce  con- 

Tolse 
Die  into  life :  so  young  Apollo  anguish'd :  130 
His  Tery  hair,  his  golden  tresses  famed 
Kept  undulation  round  his  eager  neok. 


During  the  pain  Mnemosyne  upheld 
Her  arms  as  one  who  prophesied.  —  A 

length 
Apollo  shriek'd;  —  and   lo  1   from  all  hi 

limbs 
Celestial 


TO  AUTUMN 


Ii  I  letter  to  Raynoldsy  written  from  Win- 
dMter,  September  22, 1810,  Keats  jots  down 
tWn  wDtenoes :  '  How  beaatif nl  the  seaeon  u 
■ov— How  fine  the  air.  A  temperate  ehaip- 
■Mi  ibout  it.  Really,  without  joking,  chaste 
vMther »  Dian  sides  —  I  neyer  liked  stabble- 
fddi  10  mneh  as  now — Aye,  better  than  the 


chilly  green  of  the  spring.  Somehow,  a  stub- 
ble-field looks  wann  in  the  same  way  that  some 
pictures  look  warm.  This  struck  me  so  much 
in  my  Sunday's  walk  that  I  composed  upon  it' 
These  autumn  days  in  Winchester  were  die  last 
of  happy  health  for  Keats.  The  poem  was  in- 
cluded in  the  1820  yolume. 


Skasok  of  mists  and  mellow  fmitfolness, 

Close  bosom-friend  of  the  maturing  sun; 
Conspiring  with  him  how  to  load  and  bless 
With  fruit  the  vines    that  round    the 
thatch-eaves  run; 
^beod  with  apples  the  moss'd  cottage- 
tieeSy 
And  fill  all  fruit  with  ripeness  to  the 

core; 
/Ic  sw^^  the  gourd,  and  plump  the 

iOm  shells 
With  a  sweet  kernel;  to  set  budding 
inorey 
•And  itill  morey  later  flowers  for  the  bees, 
Until  they  think  warm  days  will  never 


For  Summer  has  o'er-brimm'd  their 
dimmy  cells. 


II 


^^Whnot  seen  thee  oft  amid  thj  store  ? 

Sometinies  whoever  seeks  abrcMsd  may 
find 
Ike  fitting  careless  oo  a  granary  floor, 

1^  luur  soft-lifted  by  the  winnowing 


Or  OB  a  hall-reap'd  furrow  sound  asleep, 
^^'('wied  with  the  fume  of  poppies,  while 
thy  hook 


Spares  the  next    swath    and  all  its 

twined  flowers:  //<4P  *^'*  ■*''%- 

And  sometimes  like  %j;^leanfs^  thou  dost  keep 

Steady  thy  laden  head  across  a  brook; 

/OTITf  a  cider={^ss,  with  patient  look, 

!      Thou  watchest  the  last  oozings,  hours 

Where  are  the  songs  of  Spring?      Ay, 
where  are  tiiey  ? 
Think  not  of  them,  thou  hast  thy  music 
too,— 
While  barred  clouds  bloom  the  «ofi-dyii^ 
day,  -  ^~- 

And  touch  the  stubble-plains  with  rosy 
hue; 
Then  in  a  wailful  choir  the  snudl  gnats 
mourn 
Among  the  river  sallows,  borne  aloft 
Or  sinking  as  the  light  wind  lives  or 
dies; 
And  full-grown    lambs    loud  bleat  from 
hilly  bourn; 
Hedge-crickets  sing;  and  now  with  treble^ 

soft 
The  redbreast  whistles  from  a  garden- 
croft, 
And  gathering  swallows  twitter  in  the 
skies. 


/, 


ji. 


■) . . '.- 


W         <j*  r 


-*\ 


M    \ 


VERSES  TO  FANNY  BRAWNE 


Although  these  are  not  the  only  poems 
irhioh  owe  their  origin  to  Keats's  consuming 
passion,  they  are  grouped  here  because,  ap- 

SONNET 

The  date  1810  is  appended  to  this  sonnet  in 
JAft^  Letters  and  Literary  Remains,  Mr.  For- 
man  connects  it  with  a  letter  written  to  Fanny 
Brawne,  October  11, 1819. 

The  day  is  gone,  and  all  ite  sweete  are 
gone! 
Sweet  voice,  sweet  lips,  soft  hand,  and 
softer  breast. 
Warm  breath,  light  whisper,  tender  semi- 
tone, 
Bright    eyes,  accomplished    shape,  and 
lang^rous  waist ! 
Faded  the  flower  and  all  its  badded  charms, 
Faded  the  sight  of  beauty  from  my  eyes. 
Faded  the  shape  of  beauty  from  my  arms. 
Faded    the   voice,    warmth,    whiteness, 
paradise  ! 
Vanished  unseasonably  at  shut  of  eve, 

When  the  dusk  holiday  —  or  holinight  — 
Of  fragrant-curtain'd  love  begins  to  weave 
The  woof  of  darkness  thick,  for  hid  de- 
light: 
But,  as  I  've  read  love's  missal  through  to- 
day, 
He  11  let  me  sleep,  seeing  I  fast  and  pray. 

LINES   TO   FANNY 

first  published  in  Life^  Letters  and  Literary 
Remainsy  and  there  dated  October,  1819 ;  their 
exact  date  seems  to  be  indicated  by  a  passage 
in  a  letter  to  Fanny  Brawne,  written  October 
13,  1819,  intimating  some  work,  and  breaking 
out  into :  *  I  cannot  proceed  with  any  degree  of 
content.  I  must  write  you  a  line  or  two  and 
see  if  that  will  assist  in  dismissing  you  from 
my  mind  for  ever  so  short  a  time/ 


parently  written  in  the  same  period,  they  staad 
as  a  painful  witness  to  the  ebbing  tide  of 
Keats's  life. 

What  can  I  do  to  drive  away 
Remembrance  from  my  eyes?    for  they 

have  seen, 
Aye,  an  hour  ago,  my  brilliant  Qaeen ! 
Touch  has  a  memory.    O  say,  love,  say. 
What  can  I  do  to  kill  it  and  be  free 
In  my  old  liberty? 

When  every  fair  one  that  I  saw  was  &ir, 
Enough  to  catch  me  in  but  half  a  snare. 
Not  keep  me  there: 

When,  howe'er  poor  or  partioolonr'd  things. 
My  muse  had  wings, 
And  ever  ready  was  to  take  her  coarse 
Whither  I  bent  her  force, 
Unintellectual,  yet  divine  to  me; — 
Divine,  I  say!  —  What  sea-bird  o'er  the 

sea 
Is  a  philosopher  the  while  he  goes 
Winging   along  where    the    great   wmter 

throes? 

How  shall  I  do 

To  get  anew 
Those  moulted  feathers,  and  so  mount  once 
more 

Above,  above 

The  reach  of  fluttering  Love, 
And  make  him  cower  lowly  while  I  soar  ? 
Shall  I  gulp  wine?     No,  that  is  vulgar- 
ism, 
A  heresy  and  schism, 

Foisted  into  the  canon  law  of  love;  — 
No,  —  wine  is  only  sweet  to  happy  men; 

More  dismal  cares 

Seize  on  me  unawares,  — 
Where  shall  I  learn  to  get  my  peace  again  ? 
To  banish  thoughte  of  that  most  hateful 
land, 


214 


TO   FANNY 


"S 


Dongeoner  of    my  friends,  that    wicked 
strand 

Where  they  were    wreck'd    and    live    a 
wrecked  life; 

TIat  monstroos  region,  whote  dull  riyers 
pour, 

£fer  from  their  sordid  ams  unto  the  shore, 

Uoown'd  of  any  weedy-haired  gods; 

Whose  winds,  all  zephyrless,  hold  scour- 
ging rods, 

loed  in  the  great  lakes,  to  afiQict  mankind; 

Whose  rank-grown  forests,  frosted,  black, 
and  blind, 

Woold  fright  a  Dryad;  whose  harsh  herb- 
aged  meads 
Make  lean  and  lank  the  starved  ox  while 

he  feeds; 
There  bad  flowers  have  no  scent,  birds  no 

sweet  song, 
Aad  great  unerring   Nature  once  seems 
wrong. 

0,  for  some  snnny  spell 

To  dissipate  the  shadows  of  thb  hell ! 

Sty  they  are  gone,  —  with  the  new  dawn- 
ing light 

Steps  forth  my  lady  bright ! 

0,  let  me  onee  more  rest 

Xj  soul  upon  that  dazzling  breast ! 

iH  oQce  again  these  aching  arms  be  placed, 

The  tender  gaolers  of  thy  waist ! 

And  let  me  feel  that  warm  breath  here  and 
there 


To  spread  a  rapture  in  my  very  hair,  — 

O,  the  sweetness  of  the  pain  ! 

Give  me  those  lips  again  ! 

Enough  !     Enough  !  it  is  enough  for  me 

To  dream  of  thee  ! 


TO   FANNY 

With  the  date  1819  in  Life,  Letters  and  LiU 
erary  Remains, 

I  CRY  your  mercy  —  pity  —  love  —  aye^ 
love  ! 
Merciful  love  that  tantalizes  not, 
One-thoughted,  never-wandering,  guileless 
love, 
Unmasked,  and  being  seen  —  without  a 
blot! 
O  !  let  me  have  thee  whole, — all  —  all^ 
be  mine  ! 
That  shape,  that  fairness,  that  sweet  mi- 
nor zest 
Of  love,  your  kiss,  —  those  hands,  those 
eyes  divine. 
That  warm,  white,  lucent,  million-plea- 
sured breast,  — 
Yourself  —  your  soul  —  in  pity   give   me 
all, 
Withhold  no  atom's  atom,  or  I  die, 
Or  living  on  perhaps,  your  wretched  thrall,. 

Forget,  in  the  mist  of  idle  misery. 
Life's  purposes  —  the  palate  of  my  mind 
Losing  its  gust,  and  my  ambition  blind  I 


THE  CAP  AND  BELLS 

OR,  THE  JEALOUSIES 
A  F(ury  Tale.     Unfinished 


In  a  letter  to  John  Taylor,  his  publisher, 
written  from  Hampstead,  November  17, 1819, 
Keats,  who  was  then  in  his  most  restless  mood, 
writes  impolsiyely :  *  I  have  come  to  a  deter- 
mination not  to  publish  anything  I  have  now 
ready  written ;  but,  for  all  that,  to  publish  a 
poem  before  long,  and  that  I  hope  to  make  a 
fine  one.  As  the  marvellous  is  the  most  en- 
ticing, and  the  surest  g^uarantee  of  harmonious 
numbers,  I  have  been  endeavouring  to  per- 
suade myself  to  untether  Fancy,  and  to  let  her 
manage  for  herself.  I  and  myself  cannot  agree 
about  this  at  all.  Wonders  are  no  wonders  to 
me.  I  am  more  at  home  amongst  men  and 
women.  I  would  rather  read  Chaucer  than 
Ariosto.  The  little  dramatic  skill  I  may  as  yet 
have,  however  badly  it  might  show  in  a  drama, 
would,  I  think,  be  sufficient  for  a  poem.  I 
wish  to  diffuse  the  colouring  of  ^^St.  Agues' 
Eve  "  throughout  a  poem  in  which  character 
and  sentiment  would  be  the  figures  to  such 
drapery.  Two  or  three  such  poems,  if  Gkxl 
should  spare  me,  written  in  the  course  of  the 


next  six  years,  would  be  a  famous  Gradus  ad 
Pamassum  altisBimnm  —  I  mean  they  would 
nerve  me  up  to  the  writing  of  a  few  fine  plays 
—  my  greatest  ambition,  when  I  do  feel  am- 
bitious. I  am  sorry  to  say  that  is  very  seldom.* 
Lord  Houghton  quotes  from  Keats's  friend, 
Charies  Armitage  Brown:  *This  Poem  was 
written  subject  to  •  future  amendments  and 
omissions ;  it  was  begun  without  a  plot,  and 
without  any  presented  laws  for  the  supernatu- 
ral machinery.'  Keats  apparently  designed 
publishing  the  poem  with  Uie  signature  '  Lucy 
Vaughan  Lloyd,'  and  it  can  only  be  taken  as 
one  of  his  feverish  attempts  at  using  his  intel- 
lectual powers  for  self -maintenance,  when  he 
was  discouraged  at  the  prospect  of  commercial 
success  with  his  genuine  poetry.  Hunt  pub- 
lished some  of  the  stanzas  in  Tht  Indicator 
August  23,  1820,  as  written  by  *a  very  good 
poetess  Lucy  V L— '  and  Lord  Hough- 
ton included  the  whole  in  Lifey  Letters  and 
Literary  Remains, 


Is  midmost  Ind,  beside  Hydaspes  cool, 
There  stood,  or  hover'd,  tremulous  in  the 

air, 
A  faery  city,  'neath  the  potent  rule 
Of  Emperor  Elftnan;  famed  ev'rywhere 
For  love  of  mortal  women,  maidens  fair, 
Whose  lips  were  solid,  whose  soft  hands 

were  made 
Of  a  fit  mould  and  beauty,  ripe  and  rare. 
To  pamper  his  slight  wooing,  warm  yet 

staid: 
He  loved  girls  smooth  as  shades,  but  hated 

a  mere  shade. 


3l6 


II 
This  was  a  crime  forbidden  by  the  law; 
And  all  the  priesthood  of  his  city  wept. 
For  ruin  and  dismay  they  well  foresaw, 
If  impious  prince  no  bound  or  limit  kept. 
And  faery  Zendervester  overstept; 
They  wept,  he  sinn'd,  and  still  he  would 

sin  on. 
They  dreamt  of  sin,  and  he  sinn'd  while 

they  slept; 
Li  vain    the  pulpit    thnnder'd    at    the 
throne. 
Caricature  was  vain,  and  vain  the  tart  lam- 
poon. . 


THE  CAP   AND  BELLS 


217 


III 

Wl&ich  seeing,  his  high  court  of  parlia- 
ment 
lAid  a  remooatrance  at  his  Highness' 

feet, 
Frajring  his  royal  senses  to  content 
Themselres  with  what  in  faery  land  was 

iweot, 
Befitting   best    that   shade  with  shade 

should  meet: 
Whereat,  to  calm  their  fears,  he  pro- 
mised soon 
From  mortal  tempters  all  to  make  re- 
treat- 
Ay,  e?en  on  the  first  of  the  new  moon, 
Ai  bmiateTial  wife  to  espouse  as  heaven's 
boon. 

IV 

Metatime  he  sent  a  fluttering  embassy 

To  Pigmio,  of  Imaus  sovereign. 

To  half  beg,  and  half  demand,  respect- 

faUy, 
The  hand  of  his  fair  daughter  Bella- 

oaine; 
Ai  tndienoe  had,  and  speeching  done, 

they  gain 
^beir  point,  and  bring  the  weeping  bride 

Whom,  with  bnt  one  attendant,  safely 

bin 
Upon  their  wings,  they  bore  in  bright 

in.  ^^' 

Wiile  tittle  harps  were  touch'd  by  many  a 

lyriefay. 


At  m  old  pictures  tender  cherubim 

A  child's  soul  thro'  the  sapphired  canvas 

bear, 
So,  thro'  a  real  heaven,  on  they  swim 
^^  the  sweet  princess  on  her  plumaged 

^P^  giving  to  the  winds  her  lustrous 


Aad  10  the  joamey'd,  sleeping  or  awake, 
^^  when,  for  healthful  exercise  and 


She  chose  to  '  promener  k  I'aile,'  or  take 
A  pigeon's  somerset,  for  sport  or  change's 
sake. 

VI 
'Dear  Princess,  do  not  whisper  me  so 

loud,' 
Quoth  Corallina,  nurse  and  confidant, 

<  Do  not  you  see  there,  lurking  in  a  cloud. 
Close  at  your  back,  that  sly  old  Crafti- 

cant? 
He  hears  a  whisper  plainer  than  a  rant: 
Dry  up  your  tears,  and  do  not  look  so 

blue; 
He 's  Elflnan's  great  state-spy  militant. 
He 's  running,    lying,    flying    footman, 

too  — 
Dear  mistress,  let  him  have   no  handle 

against  you ! 

VII 

<  Show  him  a  mouse's  tail,  and  he  will 

guess, 
With  metaphysic  swiftness,  at  the  mouse; 
Show  him  a  garden,  and  with  speed  no 

less, 
He'll   surmise    sagely  of   a   dwelling- 
house, 
And  plot,  in  the  same  minute,  how  to 

chouse 
The  owner  out  of  it;  show  him  a  — ' 

'Peace ! 
Peace  !  nor  contrive  thy  mistress'  ire  to 

rouse  !' 
Retum'd  the  princess, '  my  tongue  shall 

not  cease 
Till  from  this  hated  match  I  get  a  free 

release. 

VIII 

'  Ah,  beauteous  mortal ! '  '  Hush ! '  quoth 

Coralline, 
'  Really  you  must  not  talk  of  him  indeed.' 
'  You  hush ! '  replied  the  mistress,  with 

a  shine 
Of  anger  in  her  eyes,  enough  to  breed 
In  stouter  hearts  than  nurse's  fear  and 

dread: 


2l8 


THE   CAP   AND   BELLS 


'T  was  not  the  glance  itself  made  nursey 

flinch, 
But  of  its  threat  she  took  the  utmost 

heed; 
Not  liking  \n  her  heart  an  hour-long 

pinch, 
Or  a  sharp  needle  run  into  her  back  an 

inch. 

IX 

So  she  was  silenced,  and  fair  Bellanaine, 
Writhing  her  little  body  with  ennui, 
Continued  to  lament  and  to  complain, 
That  Fate,   cross-purposing,  should  let 

her  be 
BAvish'd  away  far  from  her  dear  coun- 

tree; 
That  all  her  feelings  should  be  set  at 

nought, 
In  trumping  up  this  match  so  hastily. 
With  lowland  blood;  and  lowland  blood 

she  thought 
Poison,  as  every  stanch  true-bom  Imaian 

ought. 


Sorely  she  grieved,  and  wetted  three  or 

four 
White   Provence  rose-leaves    with    her 

faery  tears, 
But  not  for  this  cause;  —  alas  !  she  had 

more 
Bad  reasons  for  her  sorrow,  as  appears 
In  the   famed   memoirs  of  a  thousand 

years, 
Written  by  Crafticant,  and  published 
By  Parpaglion  and  Co.,  (those  sly  copi- 

peers 
Who  raked  up  ev'ry   fact   against  the 

dead,) 
In  Scarab  Street,  Panthea,  at  the  Jubal's 

Head. 

XI 

Where,  after  a  long  hypercritic  howl 
Against    the    vicious    manners    of    the 

age» 


He  goes  on  to  expose,  with  heart  and 

soul. 
What  vice  in  this  or  that  year  was  the 

Backbiting  all  the  world  in  every  page; 

With  special  strictures  on    the  horrid 
crime, 

(Sectioned  and  subsection'd  with  learn- 
ing sage,) 

Of  faeries  stooping  on  their  wings  sub- 
lime 
To  kiss  a  mortal's  lips,  when  such  were  in 
their  prime. 

XII 

Turn  to  the  copious  index,  yon  will  find 
Somewhere  in  the  column,  headed  let- 
ter B, 
The  name  of  Bellanaine,  if  you  'xe  not 

blind; 
Then  pray  refer  to  the  text,  and  yon 

will  see 
An  article  made  up  of  calumny 
Against  this  highland  princess,  rating 

her 
For  giving  way,  so  over  fashionably. 
To  this  new-fangled  vice,  which  seems  a 
burr 
Stuck  in  his  moral  throat,  no  coughing  e'er 
could  stir. 

XIII 

There  he  says  plainly  that  she  loved  a 

man ! 
That  she  around  him  flutter'd,  flirted,. 

toy'd. 
Before  her  marriage  with  great  £lfi^— 

nan; 
That  after  marriage  too,  she  never  joy* 
In  husband's  company,  but  still  employ'c 
Her  wits  to  'scape  away  to  Angle-land; 
Where  lived  the  youth,  who  worried 

annoy'd 
Her  tender  heart,  and  its  warm  ardonc"^ 

fann'd 
To  such  a  dreadful  blaze,  her  side  woiiE« 

scorch  her  hand. 


THE   CAP   AND   BELLS 


219 


XIV 

Bot  let  us  leare  this  idle  tittle-tattle 
To  wiitiog- maids,  and  bed -room  co- 
teries, 
Nor  till  fit  time  against  her  fame  wage 

battle. 
Poor  Elfinan  is  very  ill  at  ease, 
Let  us  resome  his  subject  if  you  please: 
For  it  may  comfort  and   console  him 

much, 
To  rhyme  and  syllable  his  miseries; 
Poor  Elfinan  I   whose    cruel    fate   was 

such. 
He  at  and  cursed  a  bride  he  knew  he 

could  not  touch. 


XV 

Soon  as  (according  to  his  promises) 
1^  bridal  embassy  had  taken  wing, 
And  Tanish'd,  bird-like,  o'er  the  suburb 

trees, 
^  emperor,  empierced  with  the  sharp 


Of  lore,  retired,  vex'd  and  murmuring 
I^  any  drone  shut  from  the  fair  bee- 

qoeen. 
Into  his  cabinet,  and  there  did  fling 
Hisfimbs  upon  the  sofa,  full  of  spleen, 
Aid  t&nui'd  his  House  of  Commons,  in 

complete  chagrin. 


XVI 

'111  trounce  some  of  the  members,'  cried 

the  Prince, 
'111  pat  a  mark  against  some  rebel 

names, 
in  mt^  the  Opposition-benches  wince, 
I  •!  show  them  very  soon,  to  all  their 

duunes, 
^^  'tis    to    smother  up  a   Prince's 

flames; 
^w  ministers  should  join  in  it,  I  own, 
^^'priies  me  !  —  they  too  at  these  high 

games ! 
^^  I  an  Emperor  ?  Do  I  wear  a  crown  ? 
^f^*^  Elfinan,  go  hang  thyself  or  drown  ! 


XVII 

*  I  'U  trounce  'em  !  —  there 's  the  square- 
cut  chancellor^ 

His  son  shall  nerer  touch  that  bishopric; 

And  for  the  nephew  of  old  Palfior, 

I  '11  show  him  that  his  speeches  made  me 
sick, 

And  give  the  colonelcy  to  Phalaric; 

The  tiptoe  marquis,  moral  and  gallant, 

Shall  lodge  in  shabby  taverns  upon  tick; 

And  {pr  the  Speaker's  second  cousin's 
aunt. 
She  sha'n't  be  maid  of  honour, — by  hearen 
that  she  sha'n't  I 

XVIII 

a'U  shirk  the  Duke  of  A.;  1 11  cut  his 

brother; 
1 11  give  no  garter  to  his  eldest  son; 
I  won't  speak  to  his  sister  or  his  mother ! 
The  Viscount  B.  shall  lire  at  cutnuid- 

run; 
But  how  in  the  world  can  I  contrive  to 

stun 
That  feUow's  voice,  which  plagues  me 

worse  than  any, 
That  stubborn  fool,  that  impudent  state- 
dun. 
Who  sets  down  ev'ry  sovereign  as   a 

zany, — 
That  vulgar  commoner,  Esquire  Bianco- 

pany  ? 

XIX 

<  Monstrous  affair !     Pshaw !  pah  I  what 

ugly  minx 
Will   they    fetch  from    Imaus   for  my 

bride  ? 
Alas  I    my    wearied    heart    within    me 

sinks. 
To  think  that  I  must  be  so  near  allied 
To  a  cold  dullard  fay,  —  ah,  woe  betide  ! 
Ah,  fairest  of  all  human  loveliness  I 
Sweet  Bertha !  what  crime  can  it  be  to 

glide 
About  the  fragrant  plaitings  of  thy  dress. 
Or  kiss  thine  eve,  or  count  thy  locks,  tress 

after  tress  ? ' 


220 


THE  CAP  AND   BELLS 


XX 

So  said,  one  minate's  while  his  eyes  re- 
mained 

Half  lidded,  piteous,  languid,  innocent; 

But,  in  a  wink,  their  splendour  they  re- 
gain'd. 

Sparkling  revenge  with  amorous  fury 
blent. 

Love  thwarted  in  bad  temper  oft  has 
vent: 

He  rose,  he  stampt  his  foot,  he.  rang  the 
bell, 

And  order'd  some  death-warrants  to  be 
sent 

For  signature: — somewhere    the  tem- 
pest fell. 
As  many  a  poor  fellow  does  not  live  to 
tell. 

XXI 

*  At  the  same  time,  Eban,'  —  (this  was 

bis  page, 
A  fay  of  colour,  slave  from  top  to  toe. 
Sent  as  a  present,  while  yet  under  age, 
From  the  Viceroy  of  Zanguebar,  —  wise, 

slow, 
His  speech,  his  only  words  were  *yes* 

and  '  no,' 
But  swift  of  look,  and  foot,  and  wing 

was  he,)  — 
'  At  the  same  time,  Eban,  this  instant 

go 
To  Hum  the  soothsayer,  whose  name  I 

see 

Among  the  fresh  arrivals  in  our  empery. 

XXII 

*  Bring  Hum  to  me  !    But  stay  —  here 

take  my  ring, 

The  pledge  of  favour,  that  he  not  sus- 
pect 

Any  foul  play,  or  awkward  murdering, 

Tho'  I  have  bowstrung  many  of  his  sect; 

Throw  in  a  hint,  that  if  he  should  neg- 
lect 

One  hour,  the  next  shall  see  him  in  my 
grasp. 

And  the  next  after  that  shall  see  him 
neck'd, 


Or  swallow'd   by    my  hunger  -  starved 
asp,— 
And  mention  ('t  is  as  well)  the  torture  of 
the  wasp.' 

XXIII 

These  orders  given,  the  Prince,  in  half  a 
pet, 

Let  o'er  the  silk  his  propping    elbow 
slide. 

Caught  up  his  little  legs,  and,  in  a  fret. 

Fell  on  the  sofa  on  his  royal  side. 

The  slave  retreated  backwards,  humble- 
eyed. 

And  with  a  slave-like  silence  closed  the 
door. 

And  to  old  Hnm  thro'  street  and  alley 
hied; 

He  '  knew  the  city/  as  we  say,  of  yore. 
And  for  short  cuts  and  turns,  was  nobody 
knew  more. 

XXIV 

It  was  the  time  when  wholesale  dealers 

close 
Their  shutters  with  a  moody  sense  of 

wealth. 
But  retail  dealers,  diligent,  let  loose 
The  gas  (objected  to  on  score  of  health), 
Convey'd    in    little    solder'd    pipes    by 

stealth, 
And  make  it  flare  in  many  a  brilliant 

form. 
That  all  the  powers  of  darkness  it  re- 

pell'th. 
Which  to  the  oil-trade  doth  great  scaith 

and  harm. 
And  supersedeth  quite  the  use  of  the  glow- 
worm. 

XXV 

Eban,  untempted  by  the  pastry-cooks, 
(Of  pastry  he  got  store  within  the  pal- 
ace,) 
With  hasty  steps,  wrapp'd  doak,  and 

solemn  looks. 
Incognito  upon  his  errand  sallies. 
His  smelling-bottle  ready  for  the  allies; 


THE  CAP   AND   BELLS 


221 


He  pass'd  the  hurdy-gurdies  with  dis- 
dain, 
Vowing  he  'd  have  them  sent  on  board 

the  galleys; 
Jost  as  he  made  his  vow,  it  'gan  to  rain, 
Tlierefore  he  call'd  a  coach,  and  bade  it 
drive  amain. 

XXVI 

'111  poll  the  string,'  said  he,  and  further 

said, 
'PoUated  Jarvey  !  Ah,  thou  filthy  hack  ! 
^V)io«e  springs  of  life  are  all  dried  up 

and  dead. 
Whose  linsey-woolsey  lining  hangs  all 

slack, 
Whose  rug  is  straw,  whose  wholeness  is 

acrack ; 
And  evermore  thy  steps  go  clatter-clit- 

ter; 
Whose  glass  once  up  can  never  be  got 

back. 
Who  prov'st,  with  jolting  arguments  and 

bitter, 
Tkit  'tis  of  modem  use  to  travel  in  a 

litter. 

XXVII 

'TWq  inoonvenience  !  thou  hungry  crop 
For  all  com  I   thou  snail-creeper  to  and 

fro, 
Who  while  thou  goest  ever  seem'st  to 

stop, 
Aad  fiddle-faddle  standest  while  you  go; 
r  the  morning,  freighted  with  a  weight 

of  woe, 
^Bto  some  lazar-house  thou  joumeyest, 
And  in  the  evening  tak'st  a  double  row 
^  dowdies,  for  some  dance  or  party 

^'^lidcs  the  goods  meanwhile  thou  movest 
east  and  west. 

XXVIII 

'^thy  angallant  bearing  and  sad  mien, 
As  iaeh  appears  the  utmost  thou  couldst 

budge: 
^^  it  the  slightest  nod,  or  hint,  or  sign, 


Round  to  the  curb-stone    patient  dost 

thou  trudge, 
Schooled  in  a  beckon,  learned  in  a  nudge, 
A  dull-eyed  Argus  watching  for  a  fare; 
Quiet  and  plodding  thou  dost  bear  no 

grudge 
To  whisking  tilburies,  or  phaetons  rare, 
Curricles,  or  mail-coaches,  swift  beyond 

compare.' 

XXIX 

Philosophizing  thus,  he  puU'd  the  check, 

And  bade  the  coachman  wheel  to  such  a 
street, 

Who  turning  much  his  body,  more  his 
neck, 

Louted  full  low,  and  hoarsely  did  him 
greet: 

*  Certes,  Monsieur  were  best  take  to  his 
feet. 

Seeing  his  servant  can  no  farther  drive 

For  press  of  coaches,  that  to-night  here 
meet. 

Many  as  bees  about  a  straw-capp'd  hive, 
When  first  for  April  honey  into  faint  flow- 
ers they  dive.' 

XXX 

Eban  then  paid  his  fare,  and  tiptoe  went 
To  Hum's  hotel;  and,  as  he  on  did  pass 
With  head  inclined,  each  dusky  linea- 
ment 
Show'd  in  the  pearl-paved  street  as  in  a 

glass; 
His  purple  vest,  that  ever  peeping  was 
Rich  from  the  fluttering  crimson  of  his 

cloak, 
His  silvery  trowsers,  and  his  silken  sash 
Tied  in  a  burnish'd  knot,  their  semblance 
took 
Upon    the    mirror'd    walls,   wherever   he 
might  look. 

XXXI 

He  smiled  at  self,  and,  smiling,  show'd 

his  teeth, 
And  seeing  his  white  teeth,  he  smiled  the 

more; 


222 


THE  CAP  AND   BELLS 


Lifted  his  eyebrows,  spurn'd  the  path  be- 
neath, 

Show'd  teeth  again,  and  smiled  as  hereto- 
fore, 

Until  he  knock'd  at  the  magician's  door; 

Where,  till  the  porter  answer'd,  might 
be  seen, 

In  the  clear  panel  more  he  ooald  adore,  — 

His  turban  wreathed  of  gold,  and  white, 
and  green, 
Mustaohios,  ear-ring,  nose-ring,  and  his  sa- 
bre keen. 

XXXII 

'  Does  not  your  master  give  a  ront  to- 
night ? ' 
Quoth  the  dark  page;  <  Oh,  no ! '  retum'd 

the  Swiss, 
'  Next  door  but  one  to  us,  upon  the  right. 
The  Magazin  des  Modes  now  open  is 
Against  the  Emperor's  wedding;  —  and, 

sir,  this 
My  master  finds  a  monstrous  horrid  bore; 
As  he  retired,  an  hour  ago  iwis, 
With  his  best  beard  and  brimstone,  to 
explore 
And  cast  a  quiet  figure  in  his  second  floor. 

XXXIII 

<  Gad !  he 's  obliged  to  stick  to  business ! 

For  chalk,  I  hear,  stands  at  a  pretty 
price; 

And  as  for  aqua  vitse —  there 's  a  mess  ! 

The  dentes  sapiential  of  mice 

Our  barber  tells  me  too  are  on  the  rise,  — 

Tinder 's  a  lighter  article,  —  nitre  pure 

Goes  off  like  lightning,  —  g^ns  of  Para- 
dise 

At   an    enormous    figure  !  —  stars    not 
sure  !  — 
Zodiac  will  not  move  without  a  slight  dou- 
ceur I 

XXXIV 

'  Venus  won't  stir  a  peg  without  a  fee. 
And  master  is  too  partial  erUre  nous 
To  —  *     *Hush  — hushi'    cried    Eban, 
<  sure  that  is  he 


Coming  down  stairs,  —  by  St.  Bartholo- 
mew I 

As  backwards  as  he  can,  —  is 't  some- 
thing new  ? 

Or  is  't  his  custom,  in  the  name  of  fun  ? ' 

'  He  always  comes  down  backward,  with 
one  shoe '  — 

Retum'd  the  porter  — '  off,  and  one  shoe 
on. 
Like,  saying  shoe  for  sook  or  stocking,  my 
man  John ! ' 

XXXV 

It  was  indeed  the  great  Magician, 
Feeling,  with  careful  toe,  for  every  stair. 
And  retrograding  careful  as  he  can, 
Backwards  and  downwards  from  his  own 
two  pair: 

*  Salpietro  I '  exclaimed  Hum,  *  is  the  dog 

there? 
He  'b  always  in  my  way  upon  the  mat ! ' 
'  He  's  in  the  kitchen,  or  the  Lord  knows 

where,*  — 
Replied  the  Swiss,  —  <  the  nasty,  yelping 

brat!* 
'  Don't  beat  him  ! '  retum'd  Hum,  and  on 

the  floor  came  pat. 

XXXVI 

Then  facing   right  about,  he  saw  the 

Page, 
And  said:  '  Don't  tell  me  what  you  want, 

Eban; 
The  Emperor  is  now  in  a  huge  rage,  — 
'T  is  nine  to  one  he  *11  give  you  the  rattani 
Let  us  away  I '     Away  together  ran 
The    plain-dress'd    sage    and    spangled 

blackamoor. 
Nor  rested  till  they  stood  to  cool,  and  fan, 
And  breathe  themselves  at  th'  Emperor's 
chamber  door. 
When  Eban  thought  he  heard  a  soft  impe- 
rial snore. 

XXXVII 

*  1  thought  you  guess'd,  foretold,  or  pro- 

phesied. 
That 's  Majesty  was  in  a  raving  fit  ? ' 


THE  CAP  AND   BELLS 


223 


'He  dreamSy'  said  Ham,  *  or  I  have  ever 

lied, 
That  he  is  tearing  yon,  sir,  bit  by  bit.' 
'He's  not  asleep,  and  you  have  little 

wit,' 
Beplied  the  Page,  'that  Uttle  bozzing 

noise, 
Whate'er  your  palmistry  may  make  of 

it. 
Comes  from  a  plaything  of  the  Em- 
peror's choice. 
From  a  Man-'Hger-Organ,  prettiest  of  his 
tovs.* 

« 

XXXVIII 

£btii  then  nsher'd  in  the  learned  Seer: 
Bifinan's  back  was  turn'd,  but,  ne'erthe- 

leas, 
Both,  prostrate  on  the  carpet,  ear  by 

Crept  silently,  and  waited  in  distress. 
Knowing  the  Emperor's  moody  bitter- 
ness; 
Chan  especially,  who  on  the  floor  'gan 
Tremble  and  quake  to  death,  —  he  feared 

less 
A  doee  of  senna-tea,  or  nightmare  Gror- 

^^  the  Emperor  when  he  play'd  on  his 
Man-Tiger-Organ. 

XXXIX 

They  kiss'd  nine  times  the  carpet's  vel- 
vet face 

Of  glossy  silk,  soft,  smooth,  and  meadow- 
green, 

^Hiere  the  close  eye  in  deep  rich  fur 
might  trace 

A  tilTer  tissue,  scantly  to  be  seen, 

As  daisies  Inrk'd  in  June-grass,  buds  in 
green; 

S^en  the  music  ceased,  sudden  the 
hand 

Of  majesty,  by  dint  of  passion  keen, 

'Wiled  into  a  common  fist,  went  grand, 
Aad  knoek'd  down  three  cut  glasses,  and 
his  best  ink-stand. 


XL 

Then  turning  round,  he  saw  those  trem- 
bling two: 
'  Eban,'  said  he,  '  as  slaves  should  taste 

the  fruits 
Of  diUgence,  I  shall  remember  you 
To-morrow,  or  next  day,  as  time  suits. 
In  a  finger  conversation  with  my  mutes,  — 
Begone  !  —  for  you,  Chaldean  I  here  re- 
main ! 
Fear  not,  quake  not,  and  as  good  wine 

recruits 
A  conjurer's  spirits,  what  cup  will  yon 
drain  ? 
Sherry  in  silver,  hock  in  gold,  or  glass'd 
champagne  ? ' 

XLI 

<  Commander  of  the  Faithful ! '  answer'd 

Hum, 
In  preference  to  these,  I  'U  merely  taste 
A  thimble-full  of  old  Jamaica  rum.' 
'  A  simple   boon  I '   said  Elfinan,  '  thou 

may'st 
Have  Nautz,  with  which  my  morning- 
coffee  's  laced.'  * 

<  I  '11  have  a  glass  of  Nantz,  then,'  —  said 

the  Seer,  — 

'  Made  racy  —  (sure  my  boldness  is  mis- 
placed I)  — 

With  the  third  part  —  (yet  that  is  drink- 
ing dear ! )  — 
Of  the  least  drop  of  crane  de  citron  crystal 
clear.' 

XLII 

<  I  pledge  you,  Hum  !  and  pledge  my 

dearest  love, 
My  Bertha!'     <  Bertha  !  Bertha  !' cried 

the  sage, 
'  I  know  a  many   Berthas  ! '    '  Mine 's 

above 
All  Berthas  ! '  sighed  the  Emperor.     *  I 

engage,' 
Said  Hum, '  in  duty,  and  in  vassalage, 

1  *  Mr.  Niaby  is  of  opinion  that  lAoed  coHm  is  bad  for 
the  hMML'  —Spectator. 


224 


THE  CAP  AND   BELLS 


To    mention    all    the    Berthas    in    the 

earth;  — 
There's    Bertha    Watson,  —  and    Miss 

Bertha  Page,  — 
This  famed  for  languid  eyes,  and  that  for 

mirth, — 
There  's    Bertha  Blount  of  York,  —  and 

Bertha  Knox  of  Perth.' 

XLIII 

*You  seem  to  know*  —  *I  do  know,' 
answer'd  Hum, 

<  Tour  Majesty  's  in  love  with  some  fine 

girl 
Named  Bertha;  but  her  surname  will  not 

come, 
Without  a  little  conjuring.'    *  'T  is  Pearl, 
'T  is  Bertha  Pearl !     What  makes  my 

brains  so  whirl  ? 
And  she  is  softer,  fairer  than  her  name  ! ' 

<  Where   does  she  live  ? '  ask'd   Hum. 

<  Her  fair  locks  curl 
So  brightly,  they   put  all  our  fays  to 
shame  !  — 
Live  ?  —  O  I  at  Canterbury,  with  her  old 
grand  dame.' 

XLIV 

*  Good !  good  ! '  cried  Hum,  *  I  *ve  known 

her  from  a  child  I 
She  is  a  changeling  of  my  management; 
She  was  bom  at  midnight  in  an  Indian 

wild; 
Her  mother's  screams  with  the  striped 

tiger's  blent. 
While  the  torch-bearing  slaves  a  halloo 

sent 
Into  the  jungles;  and  her  palanquin, 
Rested  amid  the  desert's  dreariment. 
Shook  with  her  agony,  till  fair  were  seen 
The  little  Bertha's  eyes  ope  on  the  stars 

serene.' 

XLV 

*  I  can't  say,'  said  the  monarch,   *  that 

may  be 
Just  as  it  happen'd,  true  or  else  a  bam  I 
Drink  up  your  brandy,  and  sit  down  by 

me. 


Feel,  feel  my  pulse,  bow  much  in  love  I 

am; 
And  if  your  science  is  not  all  a  ihaiii. 
Tell  me  some  means  to  get  the  lady 

here.* 

*  Upon  my  honour ! '  said  the  son   of 

Cham,> 

*  She  is  my  dainty  changeling,  near  and 

dear, 
Although  her  story  sounds  at  first  a  little 
queer.' 

XLVl 

*Conyey  her  to  me,  Hnm,  or  by  my 

crown, 
My  sceptre,  and  my  cross-snrmoiinted 

globe, 
I  '11  knock  you  — '    <  Does  your  majesty 

mean  —  doum  f 
No,  no,  you  never  could  my  feelings 

probe 
To  such  a  depth  ! '    The  Emperor  took 

his  robe, 
And  wept  upon  its  purple  palatine. 
While  Hum  continued,  shamming  half 

a  sob, — 
*  In  Canterbury  doth  your  lady  shine  ? 
But  let  me  cool  your  brandy  with  a  little 

wine.' 

XLVII 

Whereat    a   narrow   Flemish    glass  he 

took. 
That  since  belong'd  to  Admiral  De  Witt, 
Admired  it  with  a  connoisseuring  look, 
And  with  the  ripest  claret  crowned  it. 
And,  ere  the  lively  head  could  burst  and 

flit. 
He    tum'd    it    quickly,  nimbly   upside 

down. 
His  mouth  being  held  conveniently  fit 
To  catch  the  treasure:  'Best  in  all  the 

town  I ' 
He  said,  smack'd  his  moist  lips,  and  gave  a- 

pleasant  frown. 


1  Cham  is  said  to  hare  been  the  inventor  of 
Lacy  learnt  this  from  Bayle*8  Dictiooarj,  and 
copied  a  long  Latin  note  from  that  work. 


THE  CAP   AND   BELLS 


225 


XLVIU 

*  ^  !  good  my  Prinoe,  weep  not ! '    And 

thenmgain 
He  fill'd  a  bumper.    *  Great  Sire,  do  not 

weep  I 
Tour  pulse  is  shocking,  bnt  I'll  ease 

your  pain.' 
'Fetch  me   that  Ottoman,  and  prithee 

keep 
Tour  Toiee  low,'  siud  the  Emperor,  *  and 

steep 
Some  lady's-fingers  nice  in  Candy  wine; 
And  prithee,  Hom,  behind  the  screen  do 

peep 
For  the  rose-water  vase,  magician  mine  I 
iid  iponge  my  forehead  —  so  my  love  doth 

make  me  pine.' 

xux 
'Ah,  enrsed  BeUanaine  ! '     *  Don't  think 

of  her,* 
Sejoin'd  the  Mago, '  bnt  on  Bertha  muse ; 
For,  by  my  choicest  best  barometer, 
Toa  shall  not  throttled  be  in  marriage 

noose; 
I  've  Slid  it,  sire ;  you  only  have  to  choose 
Berths  or  BeUanaine.'      So  saying,  he 

drew 
From  the  left  pocket  of  his  threadbare 

hose, 
AauDpler  hoarded  slyly,  good  as  new; 
^^^Uiog  it  by  his  thumb  and  finger  full  in 

new. 


'Sin,  this  is  Bertha  Pearl's  neat  handy- 
work, 

^  flosie,  see  here.  Midsummer^  ninety- 
one'— 

^3^  snatch'd  it  with  a  sudden  jerk, 
^  wept  as  if  he  never  wonld   have 

done, 
HoBOQring  with    royal   tears  the  poor 

homespun; 
'^WoD  were  broider'd  tigers  with  black 

Aid  long-tailed  pheasants,  and  a  rising 
ma. 


Plenty  of  posies,  great  stags,  butterflies 
Bigger  than  stags  —  a  moon  —  with  other 
mysteries. 

LI 

The  monarch  handled  o'er  and  o'er  again 
These  day-school  hieroglyphics  with  a 

sigh; 
Somewhat  in  sadness,  but  pleased  in  th» 

main. 
Till  this  oracular  couplet  met  his  eye 
Astounded  —  Cupid,  I  do  thee  defy  ! 
It  was  too  much.     He  shrunk  back  in 

his  chair. 
Grew  pale  as  death,  and  fainted  —  very 

nigh  ! 
'  Pho  !  nonsense  I '  exclaim'd  Hum,  <  now 

don't  despair: 
She  does  not  mean  it  really.     Cheer  up, 

hearty  —  there  I 

LII 

>  '  And  listen  to  my  words.     You  say  yon 

won't. 
On  any  terms,  marry  Miss  BeUanaine; 
It  goes  against  your  conscience  —  good  ! 

weU,  don't. 
You  say,  you  love  a  mortal.     I  would 

fain 
Persuade  your  honour's  highness  to  re- 
frain 
From  peccadiUoes.     But,  Sire,  as  I  say. 
What  good  would  that  do  ?    And,  to  be 

more  plain. 
You  would  do  me  a  mischief  some  odd 

day, 
Cut  off  my  ears  and  hands,  or  head  too,  by 

my  fay  ! 

LIII 

*  Besides,  manners  forbid  that  I  should 
pass  any 

Vile  strictures  on  the  conduct  of  a  prince 

Who  should  indulge  his  genius,  if  he  has 
any. 

Not,  like  a  subject,  foolish  matter  mince. 

Now  I  think  on't,  perhaps  I  could  con- 
vince 


[ 


226 


THE   CAP  AND   BELLS 


Tour  Majesty  there  is  no  crime  at  all 
In  loving  pretty  little  Bertha,  since 
She 's  very  delicate  —  not  over  tall,  — 
A  fairy's  hand,   and  in  the  waist  why  — 
very  small.' 

LIV 

'Ring  the  repeater,  gentle  Hum  ! '  "Tis 

five,' 
Said  gentle  Hum;  'the  nights  draw  in 

apace; 
The  little  birds  I  hear  are  all  alive; 
I  see  the  dawning  tonch'd  upon  your  face ; 
Shall  I  put  out  the  candles,  please  your 

Grace?' 
'Do  put  them  out,  and,  without  more 

ado, 
Tell  me  how  I  may  that  sweet  girl  em- 
brace, — 
How  you  can  bring  her  to  me.'    '  That 's 

for  you. 
Great  Emperor  !  to  adventure,  like  a  lover 

true.' 

LV 

'  I  fetch    her  ! '  —  *  Yes,  an 't  like  your 

Majesty; 
And  as  she  would  be   frighten'd  wide 

awake. 
To  travel  such  a  distance  through  the 

sky. 
Use  of  some  soft  manoeuvre  you  must 

make, 
For    your    convenience,  and    her  dear 

nerves'  sake; 
Nice  way  would   be  to  bring  her  in  a 

swoon, 
Anon,  I  'U  tell  what  course  were  best  to 

take; 
Tou  must  away  this  morning.'     '  Hum  ! 

so  soon  ? ' 
'Sire,  you  must  be    in  Kent  by   twelve 

o'clock  at  noon.' 

LVI 

At  this  great  Csesar  started  on  his  feet, 
Lifted  his   wings,  and   stood  attentive- 
wise. 


'Those  wings  to  Canterbury  you  must 

beat, 
If  you  hold  Bertha  as  a  worthy  prize, 
Look  in  the   Almanack  —  Moore  never 

lies  — 
April  the  twenty-fourth  —  this   coming 

day. 
Now  breathing  its  new  bloom  upon  the 

skies, 
Will  end  in  St.  Mark's  Eve;  —  yoa  must 

away, 
For  on  that  eve  alone  can  you  the  maid 


convey. 


LVII 


Then    the   magician    solemnly  'gan  to 
frown. 

So  that  his  frost-white  eye-brows,  beet- 
ling low. 

Shaded  his  deep  green  eyes,  and  wrinkles 
brown 

Plaited  upon  his  furnace-scorched  brow: 

Forth  from  his  hood  that  hung  his  neck 
below 

He  lifted  a  bright  casket  of  pure  gold, 

Touch'd  a  spring-lock,  and  there  in  wool 
or  snow, 

Charm'd  into  ever  freezing,  lay  an  old 
And    legend-leaved    book,   mysterious    to 
behold. 

LVIII 

'  Take  this  same  book  —  it  will  not  bite 

you.  Sire; 
There,  put   it   underneath    your    royal 

arm; 
Though  it 's  a  pretty  weight,  it  will  not 

tire, 
But  rather  on  your  journey  keep  you 

warm: 
This  is  the  magic,  this  the  potent  charm, 
That  shall  drive  Bertha  to  a  hunting 

fit! 
When  the  time  comes,  don't  feel  the  least 

alarm, 
But  lift  her  from  the  ground,  and  swiftly 

flit 
Back  to  your  palace 


THE  CAP  AND   BELLS 


227 


LIX 

'  What  ihall  I  do  with  that  same  book  ? ' 

*  Why  merely 
Iaj  it  on  Bertha's  table,  close  beside 
Her  work-box,  and  't  will  help  yoor  pur- 
pose dearly; 
I  uj  no  more.*    *  Or  good  or  ill  betide, 
Tboagh  the  wide  air  to  Kent  this  mom 

IgUdel* 
Exdiim'd  the  Emperor,  *  When  I  return, 
Aik  what  you  will,  —  I  *11  give  you  my, 

new  bride  I 
And  take  some  more  wine,  Hum; —  O, 
Heavens  I  I  bum 
To  be  upon  the  wing  I     Now,  now,  that 
minx  I  spurn  I  * 

LX 

'Leave  her  to  me,'  rejoin'd  the  magian: 
'Bat  how  shall  I  account,  illustrious  fay  I 
For  thine   imperial  absence  ?     Pho  I  I 

can 
Saj  jou  are  very  sick,  and  bar  the  way 
To  jour  so  loving  courtiers  for  one  day; 
If  either  of  their  two  Archbishops'  graces 
Sioold  talk  of  extreme  unction,  I  shall 

Too  do  not  like  cold  pig  with  Latin 
phrases, 
WUeh  never  should  be  used  but  in  alarm- 
ing cases.' 

LXI 

'Open  the   window.  Hum;   I  'm  ready 

now!' 
'Zooks ! '  exclaim'd  Hum,  as  up  the  sash 

lie  drew, 
'Behold,  your  Majesty,  upon  the  brow 
Of  jonder  hill,  what  crowds  of  people  ! ' 

*Whew! 
The  monster 's  always  after  something 

new,' 
^Hnni'd  his  Highness,  *  they  are  piping 

hot 
To  see  my  pigsney  Bellanaine.    Hum  I 

do 
Tighten  my  belt  a  little,  —  so,  so,  —  not 
^^tight,  — the  book!  —  my  wand  I  —  so, 

nothing  is  forgot.' 


LXII 

*  Wounds  I  how  they  shout ! '  said  Hum, 

*  and  there,  —  see,  see, 
Th'  ambassador 's  retum'd  from  Pigmio  I 
The  morning 's  very  fine,  —  uncommonly! 
See,  past  the  skirts  of  yon  white  cloud 

they  go. 
Tinging  it  with  soft   crimsons  I    Now 

below 
The  sable-pointed  heads  of  firs  and  pines 
They  dip,  move  on,  and  with  them  moves 

a  glow 
Along  the  forest  side  !    Now  amber  lines 
Reach  the  hill  top,  and  now  throughout  the 

valley  shines.' 

LXIII 

*  Why,  Hum,  you  're  getting  quite  poeti- 

cal! 
Those  nows  you  managed  in  a  special 

style.' 
<  If  ever  you  have  leisure.  Sire,  you  shall 
See  scraps  of  mine  will  make  it  worth 

your  while. 
Tit-bits    for   Phoebus  !  —  yes,  you   well 

may  smile. 
Hark!    hark!    the  bells!'      <A    UtUe 

further  yet, 
Good  Hum,  and  let  me  view  this  mighty 

coil.' 
Then  the  great  Emperor  full  graceful  set 
His  elbow  for  a  prop,  and    snufTd    his 

mignonette. 

LXIV 

The  mom  is  full  of  holiday:  loud  bells 
With  rival  clamors  ring  from  every  spire; 
Cunningly-etation'd  music  dies  and  swells 
In  echoing  places;  when  the  winds  re- 
spire. 
Light  flags  stream  out  like  gauzy  tongues 

of  fire; 
A  metropolitan  murmur,  lifef ul,  warm. 
Comes  from  the  northern  suburbs;  rich 

attire 
Freckles  with  red  and  gold  the  moving 
swarm; 
While  here  and  there  clear  trumpets  blow 
a  keen  aAaxia. 


228 


THE  CAP  AND   BELLS 


LXV 

And  now  the  fairy  escort  was  seen  dear, 
Like  the  old  pageant  of  Aurora's  train, 
Above  a  pearl-built  minster,  hovering 

near; 
First  wily  Craf  ticant,  the  chamberlain. 
Balanced  upon  his  gray-grown  pinions 

twain. 
His  slender  wand  officially  reveal'd; 
Then  black  gnomes  scattering  sixpences 

like  rain; 
Then  pages  three  and  three;  and  next, 

slave-held, 
The  Imaian  'scutcheon  bright,  —  one  mouse 

in  argent  field. 

LXVI 

Grentlemen  pensioners  next;   and  after 

them, 
A  troop  of  winged  Janizaries  flew; 
Then  slaves,  as  presents  bearing  many  a 

gem; 
Then  twelve  physicians  fluttering  two 

and  two; 
And  next  a  chaplain  in  a  cassock  new; 
Then  Lords  in  waiting;  then  (what  head 

not  reels 
For  pleasure  ?)  —  the  fair  Princess  in 

full  view, 
Borne  upon  wings,  —  and  very  pleased 

she  feels 
To  have  such  splendour  dance  attendance 

at  her  heels. 

LXVII 

For  there  was  more  magnificence  behind: 

She  waved  her  handkerchief.    *  Ah,  very 
gprand  !* 

Cried  Elfinan,  and  closed  the  window- 
blind; 
'And,   Hum,  we  must  not  shilly-shally 
stand,  — 

Adieu  !  adieu  I  I  'm  off  for  Angle-land ! 

I  say,  old  Hocus,  have  you  such  a  thing 

About  you,  —  feel  your  pockets,  I  com- 
mand, — 

I  want,  this  instant,  an  invisible  ring,  — 
Thank  you,  old  mummy  !  —  now  securely  I 
take  wing.' 


LXVIII 

Then  Elfinan  swift  vaulted  from  the  floor^ 
And  lighted  graceful  on  the  window-sill; 
Under  one  arm  the  magic  book  he  bore. 
The  other  he  could  wave  about  at  will; 
Pale  was  his  face,  he  still  look'd  very  ill : 
He  bow'd   at    Bellanaine,  and    said  — 

*  Poor  Bel] ! 
Farewell !  farewell !  and  if  for  ever  !  still 
For  ever  fare  thee  well ! '  —  and  then  he 

feU 
A    laughing  I  —  snapp'd    his    fingers  !  — 

shame  it  is  to  tell  I 

LXIX 

<  By  'r  Lady  I  he  is  gone  I '  cries  Hmn, 

'  and  I,  — 
(I  own  it),  —  have  made  too  free  with 

his  wine; 
Old  Crafticant  will  smoke  me.     By-the- 

bye! 
This  room  is  full  of  jewels  as  a  mine,  — 
Dear  valuable  creatures,  how  ye  shine  ! 
Some  time   to-day   I  must  contrive    a 

minute. 
If  Mercury  propitiously  incline. 
To  examine  his  scrutoire,  and  see  what 's 

in  it. 
For  of  superfluous  diamonds  I  as  well  may 

thin  it. 

LXX 

'  The  Emperor 's  horrid  bad;  yes,  that 's 

my  cue  ! ' 
Some  histories  say  that  this  was  Hum's 

last  speech; 
That,  being  fuddled,  he  went   reeling 

through 
The  corridor,  and  scarce  upright  could 

reach 
The  stair-head;  that  being  glutted  as  a 

leech, 
And  used,  as  we  ourselves  have  just  now 

said, 
To  manage  stairs  reversely,  like  a  peach 
Too  ripe,  he  fell,  being  puzzled  in  his 

head 
With  liquor  and  the  staircase:  verdict  — 

found  stone  dead. 


THE  CAP   AND   BELLS 


229 


LXXI 

1la»  10  a  fidflahoody  Craftioanto  treats; 
And  18  hit  style  is  of  strange  elegance, 
Gentle  sad  tender,  full  of  soft  oonceits, 
(Mneh  like  oar  Boswell's,)  we  will  take  a 

glMioe 
At  his  sweet  proee,  and,  if  we  can,  make 

dance 
Hif  wcnren  periods  into  careless  rhyme; 
0,  little  ^rj  Pegasas  !  rear  —  pranoe  — 
Trot  round  the  quarto  —  ordinary  time  ! 
^Ciieh,  little  Pegasas,  with  pawing  hoof 

lablime ! 

LXXII 

'  Well,  let  us  see, — tenth  book  and  chapter 

nine,*  — 
Tbi  Crafticant  pursues  his  diary:  — 
'Twas  twelve  o'clock  at  night,  the  wea- 
ther fine, 
Lttitade  thirty-six;  our  scouts  descry 
A  flight  of  .torlings  making  rapidly 
Towards  Thihet    Mem.:  —  birds  fly  in 

the  night; 
From  twelve  to  half-past  —  wings  not  fit 

to  fly 
For  a  thick  fog  —  the  Princess  sulky 
qaite: 
^d  for  an  extra  shawl,  and  gave  her 
Dorse  a  bite. 

Lxxin 

^FiTe  minutes  before  one — brought 
down  a  moth 

With  my  new  double-barrel  —  stew'd 
the  thighs, 

^  made  a  very  tolerable  broth  — 

^^iocess  tom'd  dainty,  to  our  great  sur- 
prise, 

^^d  her  mind,  and  thought  it  very 
nice: 

^^^  her  pleasant,  tried  her  with  a 

l»n. 
^bown'd;  a  monstrous  owl  across  us 

flies 
Abmt  this  time,  —  a  sad  old  figure  of 

hm; 
«ii  csMi  —  this  new  match  can't  be  a 


LXXIV 

*  From  two  to  half-past,  dusky  way  we 

made. 
Above    the    plains    of   Grobi,  —  desert, 

bleak; 
Beheld  afar  o£F,  in  the  hooded  shade 
Of  darkness,  a  great  mountain  (strange 

to  speak), 
Spitting,  from  forth  its  sulphur-baken 

peak, 
A  fan-shaped  burst  of  blood-red,  arrowy 

fire, 
Turban'd  with  smoke,  which  still  away 

did  reek. 
Solid  and  black  from  that  eternal  pyre. 
Upon  the  laden  winds  that  scantly  could 

respire. 

LXXV 

'  Just  upon  three  o'clock,  a  falling  star 
Created  an  alarm  among  our  troop, 
Elill'd  a  man-cook,  a  page,  and  broke  a 

jar, 
A  tureen,  and  three  dishes,  at  one  swoop. 
Then  passing  by  the  Priuoess,  singed  her 

hoop: 
Could  not  conceive  what  Coralline  was  at. 
She  clapp'd  her  hands  three  times,  and 

cried  out  "  Whoop  I " 
Some  strange  Imaian  custom.     A  large 

bat 
Came  sudden  'fore  my  face,  and  brush'd 

against  my  hat. 

LXXVI 

'Five    minutes    thirteen    seconds   after 

three. 
Far  in  the  west  a  mighty  fire  broke  out. 
Conjectured,  on  the  instant,  it  might  be 
The  city  of  Balk  —  't  was  Balk  beyond 

all  doubt: 
A  griffin,  wheeling  here  and  there  about 
Kept  reconnoitering  us  —  doubled   our 

guard  — 
Lighted  our  torches,  and  kept  up  a  shout. 
Till  he  sheer'd  o£F  —  the   Princess  very 

scared  — 
And  many  on  their  marrow-bones  for  death 

prepared. 


23© 


THE  CAP  AND   BELLS 


LXXVII 

'At  half-past  three  arose  the  cheerful 

moon  — 
Biyouack'd  for  f oar  minutes  on  a  cloud  — 
Where  from  the  earth  we  heard  a  lively 

tune 
Of  tambourines  and  pipes,  severe  and 

loud. 
While  on  a    flowery  lawn    a    brilliant 

crowd 
Cinque-parted  danced,  some  half  asleep 

reposed 
Beneath  the  green-faned  cedars,  some 

did  shroud 
In  silken  tents,  and  'mid  light  fragrance 

dozed, 
Or  on  the  open  turf  their  soothed  eyelids 

closed. 

LXXVIII 

*  Dropp'd  my  gold  watch,  and  kill*d  a 

kettle-drum  — 
It  went  for  apoplexy  —  foolish  folks  !  — 
Left  it  to  pay  the  piper  —  a  good  sum  — 
(I  've  got  a  conscience,  maugre  people's 

jokes,) 
To  scrape  a  little  favour;  'gan  to  coax 
Her  Highness'  pug-dog  —  got  a  sharp 

rebuff  — 
She  wish'd  a  game    at    whist  —  made 

three  revokes  — 
Tum'd  from  myself,  her  partner,  in  a 

huff; 
His  Majesty  will  know  her  temper  time 

enough. 

LXXIX 

*  She  cried  for  chess  —  I  play'd  a  game 

with  her  — 
Castled    her    king   with   such    a  vixen 

look, 
It  bodes  ill  to  his  Majesty  —  (refer 
To  the   second  chapter  of  my  fortieth 

book. 
And  see  what  hoity-toity  airs  she  took). 
At  half-past  four  the  mom  essay'd  to 

beam  — 
Saluted,  as  we  pass'd,  an  early  rook,  — 


The   Princess  fell  asleep,  and,  in   her 
dream, 
Talk'd  of  one  Master  Hubert,  deep  in  her 
esteem. 

LXXX 

*  About  this  time  —  making  delightful 

way  — 
Shed  a  quill-feather  from  my  larboard 

wing  — 
Wish'd,  trusted,  hoped  't  was  no  sign  of 

decay  — 
Thank  Heaven,  I  'm  hearty  yet !  —  't  was 

no  such  thing:  — 
At  five  the  golden  light  began  to  spring. 
With  fiery  shudder  through  the  bloomed 

east; 
At  six   we    heard    Panthea's    churches 

ring  — 
The  city  all  his  unhived  swarms  had  cast. 
To  watch  our  grand  approach,  and  hail  us 

as  we  pass'd. 

LXXXI 

'  As  flowers  turn  their  faces  to  the  sun. 

So  on  our  flight  with  hung^  eyes  they 
gaze. 

And,  as  we  shaped  our  course,  this,  that 
way  run, 

With  mad-cap  pleasure,  or  hand-clasp'd 
amaze: 

Sweet  in  the  air  a  mild-toned  music  plays. 

And  progresses  through  its  own  laby- 
rinth; 

Buds  gather'd  from  the  green  spring's 
middle-days. 

They  scatter'd  —  daisy,  primrose,   hya- 
cinth — 
Or  round  white   columns  wreathed  from 
capital  to  plinth. 

LXXXII 

'  Onward    we  floated   o'er  the   panting 

streets, 
That   seem'd    throughout   with    upheld 

faces  paved; 
Look  where  we  will,  our  bird's-eye  vision 

meets 


THE  CAP  AND  BELLS 


231 


Legions  of  holiday;    bright    standards 

wsfedy 
And  fluttering  ensigns  emnlously  craved 
Ovminate's  glance;  a  busy  thunderoas 

roar, 
Fiom  square  to  square,  among  the  bnild- 

ings  rayed, 
As  when  the  sea,  at  flow,  gluts  up  once 

more 
The  craggy  hoUowness  of  a  wild-reefed 

shore. 

LXXXIII 

'And  "Bellanaine  for  ever!"  shouted 

they  I 
While    that    fair    Princess,    from    her 

winged  chair, 
Bow'd  low  with  high  demeanour,  and,  to 

That  new-blown  loyalty  with  guerdon 

fair, 
Sdn  emptied,  at  meet  distance,  here  and 

there, 
A  plenty  horn  of  jewels.     And  here  I 
(Wbo  wish  to  give  the  devil  her  due) 

deelare 
Agiinst  that  ngly  piece  of  calumny, 
^^  ealls  them  Highland  pebble-stones 

not  worth  a  fly. 

LXXXIV 

'Stfll «  Bellanaine  I "  they  shouted,  while 

we  glide 
"^t  to  a  light  Ionic  portico, 
^  city's  delicacy,  and  the  pride 
Of  our  Imperial  Basilic;  a  row 
Of  lords  and  ladies,  on  each  hand,  make 

show 
^Vmissive  of  knee-bent  obeisance, 
^ down  the  steps;  and,  as  we  enter'd,  lo  I 
Tht  strangest  sight  —  the  most  unlook'd- 

for  chance  — 
^  tilings  tnm'd  topsy-turvy  in  a  devil's 

danee. 

LXXXV 

'  otcad  of  his  anxious  Majesty  and  court 
^  tbe  open  doors,  with  wide  saluting 


Congees  and  scrape-graces  of  every  sort, 
And  all  the  smooth  routine  of  gallan- 
tries, 
Was  seen,  to  our  immoderate  surprise, 
A  motley  crowd  thick  gather'd  in  the 

hall. 
Lords,  scullions,  deputy-sonUions,  with 

wild  cries 
Stunning  the  vestibule  from  wall  to  wall. 
Where  the  Chief  Justice  on  his  knees  and 
hands  doth  crawl. 

LXXXVI 

*  Counts  of  the  palace,  and  the  state  pur- 

veyor 
Of  moth's-down,  to  make  soft  the  royal 

beds. 
The  Common  Council  and  my  fool  Lord 

Mayor 
Marching    a-row,   each    other    slipshod 

treads; 
Powder'd  bag-wigs  and  ruffy-tu£Fy  heads 
Of  cinder  wenches  meet  and  soil  each 

other; 
Toe  crush'd  with  heel  ill-natured  fighting 

breeds, 
FriU-rumpling  elbows  brew  up  many  a 

bother, 
And  fists  in  the  short  ribs  keep  up  the  yell 

and  pother. 

LXXXVII 

*  A  Poet,  mounted  on  the  Court-Clown's 

back, 
Rode  to  the  Princess  swift  with  spurring 

heels. 
And  close  into  her  face,  with  rhyming 

clack. 
Began  a  Prothalamion;  —  she  reels. 
She  falls,  she  faints  I  —  while  laughter 

peals 
Over  her  woman's  weakness.   "  Where  !" 

cried  I, 
"  Where  is  his  Majesty  ?  "     No  person 

feels 
Inclined  to  answer;  wherefore  instantly 
I  plunged  into  the  crowd  to  find  him  or 

to  die. 


232 


THE  LAST   SONNET 


LXXXVIII 

'  Jostling  my  way  I  gain'd  the  stain,  and 

ran 
To  the  first  landing,  where,  incredible  ! 
I  met,  far  gone  in  liquor,  that  old  man. 

That  vile  impostor  Hum, ' 

So  far  so  well,  — 
For  we  have  proved  the  Mago  never  fell 
Down  stairs  on  Craftioanto's  evidence; 
And  therefore  duly  shall  proceed  to  tell. 
Plain   in    our  own  original  mood  and 

tense, 
The  sequel  of  this  day,  though  labour  *t  is 

immense  I 


THE   LAST  SONNET 

On  his  way  to  Italy  as  his  last  ohaooe  of  life, 
the  yeaael  which  bore  Keats  had  been  beating 
about  the  English  Channel  for  a  fortnight, 
when  an  opportunity  was  given  for  landing  for 
a  brief  respite  on  the  Dorsetshire  coast.  *  The 
bright  beauty  of  the  day,*  says  Lord  Hough- 
ton, Keats^B  biographer,  *  and  the  scene  revived 


the  poet*8  drooping  heart,  and  the  inspiration 
remained  with  him  for  some  time  even  after 
his  return  to  the  ship.  It  was  then  that  he 
composed  that  sonnet  of  solemn  tenderness.* 
The  date  of  the  poem  would  thus  be  Septem- 
ber or  October,  1820. 

Bright  star,  would  I  were  steadfast  as 
thou  art  I    |u 
Not  in  lone  splendour  hung  aloft  the 
night,      i 
And  watching,  with  eternal  lids  apartylt 

like  Nature's  patient  sleepless  Eremite,  ^ 
The  moving  waters  at  their  priestlike  task  c 
Of  pure  ablution  round  earth's  human 
shores  ^ 

Or  gazing  on  the  new  soft  fallen  mask      c 
Of  snow  upon  the   mountains  and  the    . 
moors:  ^ 

No — yet  still  steadfast,  still  unchangeable, 
Pillow'd  upon  my  fair  love's  ripening 
breast, 
To  feel  for  ever  its  soft  fall  and  swell. 

Awake  for  ever  in  a  sweet  unrest. 
Still,  still  to  hear  her  tender-taken  breath, 
And  so  live  ever  —  or  else  swoon  to  death. 


>♦ 


SUPPLEMENTARY   VERSE 


The  collection  which  follows  is  not  intended 
to  be  taken  exactly  as  containing  the  leavings 
of  Keat8*s  genins ;  there  are  verses  in  the  plu- 
vious groups  which  might  be  placed  here,  if  the 
intention  was  to  make  a  marked  division  be- 
tween his  well-defined  poetiy  and  his  experi- 
ments and  mere  scintillations;  donbUess,  too, 


on  any  snch  principle  it  would  be  just  to  take 
back  into  the  respectability  of  larger  type  some 
of  the  lines  here  included.  But  it  seemed  wise 
to  put  into  a  subordinate  group  the  poet's  frag- 
mentary and  posthumous  poems,  and  those 
which  were  plainly  the  mere  playthings  of  his 
muse. 


I.   HYPERION:    A   VISION 

Contributed  by  Lord  Houghton  to  the  third 
volume  of  the  Bibliographical  and  Historical 
Miscellanies  of  the  Philobiblion  Society,  1866- 
1857.  Lord  Houghton  afterward  included  it 
iq  a  new  edition  of  The  Life  and  Letters  of 
John  Keat^f  1867.  He  also  printed  it  in  the 
Aldine  edition  of  1876,  where  he  recorded  it 
as  an  early  version  of  the  poem.  But  Mr.  Col- 
vin  quotes  from  Brown's  MS, :  *  In  the  even- 
ings [of  November  and  December,  1819]  at  his 
own  desire,  he  occupied  a  sejMurate  apartment, 
and  was  deeply  engaged  in  remodeling  the  frag- 
ment of  Hyperion  into  the  form  of  a  Vision.' 
This  attempt  may  well  have  added  to  Keats's 
reluctance  to  permit  the  fragmentary  Hyperion 
to  appear  in  the  1820  volume.  For  a  full  dis- 
cussion of  the  question  see  the  Appendix  in 
John  Keats  by  Sidney  Cdvin. 

CANTO   I 

Fakatics  have  their  dreams,  wherewith  they 

weave 
A  paradise  for  a  sect ;  the  savage,  too. 
From  forth  the  loftiest  fashion  of  his  sleep 
Ouesses  at  heaven ;  pity  these  have  not 
Trac'd  upon  vellum  or  wild  Indian  leaf 
The  shadows  of  melodious  utterance. 
But  bare  of  laurel  they  live,  dream,  and  die ; 
For  Poesy  alone  can  tell  her  dreams,  — 
With  the  fine  spell  of  words  alone  can  save 
Imagination  from  the  sable  chain  to 

And  dumb  enchantment.    Who  alive  can  say, 
*Thou   art   no    Poet  —  may'st  not    tell    thy 

dreams'? 
Since  every  man  whose  soul  is  not  a  dod 


Hath  visions  and  would  speak,  if  he  had  loved, 
And  been  well  nurtured  in  his  mother  tongue. 
Whether  the  dream  now  pnrpos'd  to  rehearse 
Be  poet's  or  fanatic's  will  be  known 
When  this  warm  scribe,  my  hand,  is  in  the 
grave. 

Methought  I  stood  where  trees  of  every  dime. 
Palm,  myrtie,  oak,  and  sycamore,  and  beeeh,  io 
With   plantane   and   spice-blossoms,  mads   a 

screen. 
In  neighbourhood  of  fountains  (by  the  noise 
Soft-showering  in  mine  ears),  and  (by  the  touch 
Of  scent)  not  far  from  roses.    Twining  round 
I  saw  an  arbour  with  a  drooping  roof 
Of  trellis  vines,  and  bells,  and  larger  blooms. 
Like  floral  censers,  swinging  light  in  air ; 
Before  its  wreathed  doorway,  on  a  mound 
Of  moss,  was  spread  a  feast  of  summer  fruits, 
Which,  nearer  seen,  seem'd  refuse  of  a  meal  30 
By  angel  tasted  or  our  Mother  Eve ; 
For  empty  shells  were  scatter'd  on  the  grass. 
And  grapestalks  but  half-bare,  and  remnants 

more 
Sweet-smelling,  whose  pure  kinds  I  could  not 

know. 
Still  was  more  plenty  than  the  fabled  horn 
Thrice  emptied  could  pour  forth  at  banqueting. 
For  Proserpine  retnm'd  to  her  own  fields. 
Where  the  white  (leifers  low.    And  api>etite. 
More  yearning  than  on  earth  I  ever  felt. 
Growing  within,  I  ate  deliciously,  —  40 

And,  after  not  long,  thirsted ;  for  thereby 
Stood  a  cool  vessel  of  transparent  juice 
Sipp'd  by  the  wander'd  bee,  the  which  I  took. 
And  pledging  all  the  mortals  of  the  world, 
And  all  the  dead  whose  names  are  in  our  Ups, 
Drank.    That  fall  draught  is  parent  of  my 

theme. 


234 


SUPPLEMENTARY  VERSE 


No  Asian  poppy  nor  elixir  fine 
Of  the  80on-&ding,  jealons  Caliphat, 
No  poiion  gendered  in  dose  monkish  cell. 
To  thin  the  scarlet  conclave  of  old  men,  50 

Could  so  haye  rapt  unwilling  life  away. 
Among  the  fragrant  hnsks  and  berries  omsh'd 
Upon  the  grass,  I  straggled  hard  against 
The  domineering  potion,  but  in  vain. 
The  dondy  swoon  came  on,  and  down  I  sank. 
Like  a  Silenns  on  an  antique  vase. 
How  long  I  slumbered  't  is  a  chance  to  gaess. 
When  sense  of  life  retom'd,  I  started  up 
As  if  with  wings,  but  the  fair  trees  were  gone. 
The  mossy  mound  and  arbour  were  no  more :  60 
I  look'd  around  upon  the  curved  sides 
Of  an  old  sanctuary,  with  roof  august, 
fiuilded  so  high,  it  seem'd  that  filmed  clouds 
Might  spread  beneath  as  o'er  the  stars  of  hea- 
ven. 
So  old  the  place  was,  I  remembered  none 
The  like  upon  the  earth :  what  I  had  seen 
Of  grey  cathedrals,  buttressed  walls,  rent  tow- 
ers, 
The  superannuations  of  sunk  realms. 
Or  Nature's  rocks  toil'd  hard  in  waves  and 

winds, 
Seem'd  but  the  faulture  of  decrepit  things      70 
To  that  eternal  domed  monument. 
Upon  the  marble  at  my  feet  there  lay 
Store  of  strange  vessels  and  large  draperies, 
Which  needs  had  been  of  dyed  asbestos  wove. 
Or  in  that  place  the  moth  could  not  corrupt, 
So  white  the  linen,  so,  in  some,  distinct 
Ran  imageries  from  a  sombre  loom. 
All  in  a  mingled  heap  confused  there  lay 
Robes,  golden  tongs,  censer  and  chafing-dish, 
Girdles,  and  chains,  and  holy  jewelries.  80 

Turning  from  these  with  awe,  once  more  I 

raised 
My  eyes  to  fathom  the  space  every  way : 
The  embossed  roof,  the  silent  massy  range 
Of  columns  north  and  south,  ending  in  mist 
Of  nothing;    then  to  eastward,  where  black 

gates 
Were  shut  against  the  sunrise  evermore ; 
Then  to  the  west  I  looked,  and  saw  far  off 
An  image,  huge  of  feature  as  a  cloud. 
At  level  of  whose  feet  an  altar  slept. 
To  be  approached  on  either  side  by  steiw         90 
And  marble  balustrade,  and  patient  travul 
To  count  with  toil  the  innumerable  degrees. 
Toward  the  altar  sober-pac'd  I  went. 
Repressing  haste  as  too  unholy  there ; 
And,  coming  nearer,  saw  beside  the  shrine 
One  ministering ;  and  there  arose  a  flame 
When  in  mid-day  the  sickening  east-wind 


Shifts  sudden  to  the  south,  the  amall  warn 

rain 
Melts  out  the  frozen  incense  from  aUrflowett, 
And  fills  the  air  with  so  much  pleasant  healtfitoB 
That  even  the  dying  man  foxgets  his  shiond  ;— 
Even  so  that  lofty  sacrifidal  fire. 
Sending  forth  Maian  inoenae,  spmd  aiomid 
Forgetfulness  of  everything  but  bliss. 
And  douded  all  the  altar  with  soft  smoke; 
From  whose  white  fragrant  onrtains  thn  I 

heard 
Language  prononnc'd :  *  If  thoa  canst  not  •§• 

oend 
These  steps,  die  on  that  marble  where  thos 

art. 
Thy  flesh,  near  cousin  to  the  oonamon  dost. 
Will  parch  for  lack  of  nutriment ;  thy  bones  110 
Will  wither  in  few  years,  and  vanish  so 
That  not  the  quickest  eye  oould  flnd  a  grsia 
Of  what  thou  now  art  on  that  pavement  eold. 
The  sands  of   thy  short   life  are  spent  tfaii 

hour. 
And  no  hand  in  the  universe  can  torn. 
Thy  hourglass,  if  these  gummed  leaves  be  bant 
Ere  thou  canst  mount  up  these  immortal  stepi.* 
I  heard,  I  looked :  two  senses  both  at  ones. 
So  fine,  so  subtle,  fdlt  the  tyranny 
Of  that  fierce  threat  and  the  hard  task  pro- 
posed. t30 
Prodigious  seemed  the  toil ;  the  leaves  were  yM 
Burning,  when  suddenly  a  palsied  diill 
Struck  from  the  paved  level  up  my  limbs. 
And  was  ascending  quick  to  put  cold  gnap 
Upon  those  streams  that  pulse  beside  the  throst 
I  shriek'd,  and  the  sharp  anguish  of  my  shiitk 
Stung  my  own  ears ;  I  strove  hard  to  escape 
The  numbness,  strove  to  gain  the  lowest  step. 
Slow,  heavy,  deadly  was  my  pace :  the  eold 
Ghrew  stifling,  suffocating  at  the  heart ;  tje 
And  when  I  clasped  my  hands  I  felt  them  not 
One  minute  before  death  my  io'd  foot  toodi'd 
The  lowest  stair ;  and,  as  it  touched,  life  seemed 
To  pour  in  at  the  toes ;  I  mounted  up 
As  once  fair  angels  on  a  ladder  flew 
From  the  green  turf  to  heaven.    *  Holy  Pow«,* 
Cried  I,  approaching  near  the  homed  shrine, 
'What  am  I  that  should  so  be  saved  £raoi 

death? 
What  am  I  that  another  death  come  not 
To  choke  my  utterance,  sacrilegious,  here  f  *  iip 
Then  said  the  veiled  shadow :  *  Thou  hast  felt 
What  et  is  to  die  and  live  again  before 
Thy  fated  hour ;  that  thou  hadst  power  to  dfi 

so 
Is  thine  own  safety ;  thou  hast  dated  on 
Thy  doom.e    '  High  Prophetess,'  said  I,  *  pnr^ 

off. 


46^ 


HYPERION:   A  VISION 


235 


benign,  if  so  it  please  thee,  my  mind's  film.' 
*None  can  usurp  this  height,*  retiim*d  that 
shade, 

*  Bat  those  to  whom  the  miseries  of  the  world 
Are  misery,  and  will  not  let  them  rest. 

All  else  who  find  a  haven  in  the  world,  150 

Where  they  may  thoughtless  sleep  away  their 

days. 
If  by  a  chance  into  this  fane  they  come, 
I^t  on  the  pavement  where  thou  rottedst  half.' 
'  Are  there  not  thousands  in  the  world,'  said  I, 
Enoourag'd  by  the  sooth  voice  of  the  shade, 

*  Who  love  their  fellows  even  to  the  death, 
Who  feel  the  giant  agony  of  the  world, 
And  more,  like  slaves  to  poor  humanity. 
Labour  for  mortal  good  ?    I  sure  should  see 
Other  men  here,  but  I  am  here  alone.'  160 
'  Those  whom  thou  spakest  of  are  no  visiona- 
ries,' 

Rejoin'd  that  voice ;  *  they  are  no  dreamers 

weak ; 
They  seek  no  wonder  but  the  human  face. 
No  music  but  a  happy-noted  voice : 
They  come  not  here,  they  have  no  thought  to 

come; 
And  thou  art  here,  for  thou  art  less  than  they. 
What  benefit  canst  thou  do,  or  all  thy  tribe. 
To  the  great  world?     Thou  art  a  dreaming 

thing, 
A  fever  of  thyself :  think  of  the  earth ; 
What  bliss,  even  in  hope,  is  there  for  thee  ?  170 
What  haven  ?  every  creature  hath  its  home. 
Every  sole  man  hath  days  of  joy  and  pain. 
Whether  his  labours  be  sublime  or  low  — 
The  pain  alone,  the  joy  alone,  distinct : 
Only  the  dreamer  venoms  all  his  days, 
Bearing  more  woe  than  all  his  sins  deserve. 
Therefore,  that  happiness  be  somewhat  shared. 
Such  things  as  thou  art  are  admitted  oft 
Into  like  gardens  thou  didst  pass  erewhile. 
And  suffer'd  in  these  temples :  for  that  cause  180 
Thou  standest  safe  beneath  this  statue's  knees.' 

*  That  I  am  f avour'd  for  unworthiness. 
By  such  propitious  parley  medicined 
In  sickness  not  ignoble,  I  rejoice. 
Aye,  and  could  weep  for  love  of  such  award.' 
So  answer'd  I,  continuing,  *  If  it  please, 
Majestic  shadow,  tell  me  where  I  am, 
Whose  altar  this,  for  whom  this  incense  curls ; 
What  image  this  whose  face  I  cannot  see 
For  the  broad  marble  knees;  and  who  thou 

art,  190 

Of  accent  feminine  so  courteous  ?  ' 

Then  the  tall  shade,  in  drooping  linen  veil'd. 
Spoke  out,  so  much  more  earnest,  that  her 
breath 


Stirr'd  the  thin  folds  of  gauze  that  drooping 

hung 
About  a  golden  censer  from  her  hand 
Pendent ;  and  by  her  voice  I  knew  she  shed 
Long-treasured  tears.    *This  temple,  sad  and 

lone. 
Is  all  spar'd  from  the  thunder  of  a  war 
Foughten  long  since  by  giant  hierarchy 
Against  rebellion :  this  old  image  here,  200 

Whose  carved  features  wrinkled  as  he  fell. 
Is  Saturn's ;  I,  Moneta,  left  supreme. 
Sole  goddess  of  this  desolation.* 
I  had  no  words  to  answer,  for  my  tongue. 
Useless,  could  find  about  its  roofed  home 
Ko  syllable  of  a  fit  majesty 
To  make  rejoinder  to  Moneta's  mourn : 
There  was  a  silence,  while  the  altar's  blaze 
Was  fainting  for  sweet  food.    I  look'd  thereon. 
And  on  the  paved  floor,  where  nigh  were  piled 
Faggots  of  cinnamon,  and  many  heaps  an 

Of  other  crisped  spicewood :  then  again 
I  look'd  upon  the  altar,  and  its  horns 
Whiten'd  with  ashes,  and  its  languorous  flame. 
And  then  upon  the  offerings  again ; 
And  so,  by  turns,  till  sad  Moneta  cried : 
*  The  sacrifice  is  done,  but  not  the  less 
Will  I  be  kind  to  thee  for  thy  good  will. 
My  power,  which  to  me  is  still  a  curse, 
Shall  be  to  thee  a  wonder ;  for  the  scenes      aao 
Still  swooning  vivid  through  my  globed  brain. 
With  an  electnd  changing  misery. 
Thou  shalt  with  these  dull  mortal  eyes  behold 
Free  from  all  pain,  if  wonder  pain  thee  not.' 
As  near  as  an  immortal's  sphered  words 
Could  to  a  mother's  soften  were  these  last: 
And  yet  I  had  a  terror  of  her  robes. 
And  chiefly  of  the  veils  that  from  her  brow 
Hung  pale,  and  curtain'd  her  in  mysteries. 
That  made  my  heart  too  small  to   hold  its 

blood.  230 

This  saw  that  Gk>ddess,  and  with  sacred  hand 
Parted  the  veils.    Then  saw  I  a  wan  face, 
Kot   pin'd    by   human   sorrovrs,    but   bright- 

blanch'd 
Bj  an  immortal  sickness  which  kills  not ; 
It  works  a  constant  change,  which  happy  death 
Can  put  no  end  to ;  deathwards  progressing 
To  no  death  was  that  visage ;  it  had  past 
The  lily  and  the  snow ;  and  beyond  these 
I  must  not  think  now,  though  I  saw  that  face. 
But  for  her  eyes  I  should  have  fled  away ;     240 
They  held  me  back  with  a  benignant  light. 
Soft,  mitigated  by  divinest  lids 
Half-dos'd,  and  visionless  entire  they  seem'd 
Of  all  external  things ;  they  saw  me  not. 
But  in  blank  splendour  beam'd,  like  the  mild 

moon, 


236 


SUPPLEMENTARY  VERSE 


Who  comforts  those  she  sees  not,  who  knows 

not 
What  eyes  are  upward  oast.    As  I  had  foond 
A  grain  of  gold  upon  a  monntain's  side, 
And,  twing'd  with  ayarioe,  strain'd  ont  my 

eyes 
To  search  its  sullen  entrails  rich  with  ore,     aso 
So,  at  the  Tiew  of  sad  Moneta's  brow, 
I  ask'd  to  see  what  things  the  hollow  brow 
Behind  enTiron'd :  what  high  tragedy 
In  the  dark  secret  chambers  of  her  skull 
Was  acting,  that  could  give  so  dread  a  stress 
To  her  cold  lips,  and  fill  with  such  a  light 
Her  planetary  eyes,  and  touch  her  voice 
With  such  a  sorrow  ?    '  Shade  of  Memory  I  * 
Cried  I,  with  act  adorant  at  her  feet, 
*By  all   the   gloom   hung   round   thy   fallen 

house,  ate 

By  this  last  temple,  by  the  golden  age. 
By  great  Apollo,  thy  dear  foster-child. 
And  by  thyself,  forlorn  divinity. 
The  pale  Omega  of  a  withered  race, 
Let  me  behold,  according  as  thou  saidst. 
What  in  thy  brain  so  ferments  to  and  fro  I  * 
No  sooner  had  this  conjuration  past 
My  devout  lips,  than  side  by  side  we  stood 
(like  a  stunt  bramble  by  a  solemn  pine) 
Deep  in  the  shady  sadness  of  a  vale  >7o 

Far  sunken  from  the  healthy  breath  of  mom. 
Far  from  the  fiery  noon  and  eve^s  one  star. 
Onward  I  looked  beneath  the  gloomy  boughs. 
And  saw  what  first  I  thought  an  image  huge. 
Like  to  the  image  pedestall^d  so  high 
Li  Satum*s  temple ;  then  Moneta's  voice 
Came  brief  upon  mine  ear.    *  So  Saturn  sat 
When  he  had  lost  his  realms ; '  whereon  there 

grew 
A  power  within  me  of  enormous  ken 
To  see  as  a  god  sees,  and  take  the  depth        aSo 
Of  things  as  nimbly  as  the  outward  eye 
Can  size  and  shape  pervade.    The  lofty  theme 
Of  those  few  words  hung  vast  before  my  mind 
With  half-unravellM  web.    I  sat  myself 
Upon  an  eagle's  watch,  that  I  might  see. 
And  seeing  ne*er  forget.    No  stir  of  life 
Was  in  this  shrouded  vale,  —  not  so  much  air 
As  in  the  zoning  of  a  summer's  day 
Robs  not  one  light  seed  from  the  feathered  grass 
But  where  the  dead  leaf  fell  there  did  it  rest. 
A  stream  went  noiseless  by,  still  deaden'd  more 
By  reason  of  the  fallen  divinity  »9» 

Spreading  more  shade;  the  Naiad  *mid  her 

reeds 
Prest  her  cold  finger  closer  to  her  lips. 

Along  the  margin-sand  large  foot-marks  went 
No  further  than  to  where  old  Saturn's  feet 


Had  rested,  and  there  slept  how  kmg  a  deepi 
Degraded,  cold,  upon  the  sodden  gmmd 
His  old  right  hand  lay  nervelen,  Uatless,  dssd, 
Unsoeptred,  and  his  realmless  eyes  were  dosed: 
While  his  bowed  head  seem*d  listening  to  the 
Earth,  jn 

ancient  mother,  for  some  oomf ort  yet. 


It  seem'd  no  force  oould  wake  him  from  Ui 

place; 
But  there  came  one  who,  with  a  kindred  haad, 
Touch'd  his  wide  shoulders,  after  bendiog  lov 
With  reverence,  though  to  one.  who  knew  it  net 
Then  came  the  griev'd  voice  Mnemosyne, 
And  griev'd  I  hearken'd.    *  That  divinity 
Whom  thou  saw'st  step  from  ycm  forioiaeit 

wood,  J09 

And  with  slow  pace  approach  oor  fallen  Idag* 
Is  Thea,  softest-natured  of  our  brood.* 
I  mark'd  the  Gknldess,  in  fair  statuary 
Surpassing  wan  Moneta  by  the  head, 
And  in  her  sorrow  nearer  woman's  tears. 
There  was  a  listening  fear  in  her  regard. 
As  if  calamity  had  but  begun ; 
As  if  the  venom'd  cloud  of  evil  days 
Had  spent  their  malice,  and  the  siUlen  rear 
Wss  with  its  stored  thunder  labouring  up. 
One  hand  she  press'd  upon  that  aching  spot  V^ 
Where  beats  the  human  heart,  as  if  just  then^ 
Though  an  immortal,  she  felt  cruel  pain ; 
The  other  upon  Saturn's  bended  neck 
She  laid,  and  to  the  level  of  his  ear 
Leaning,  with  parted  lips  some  w<irds  she  ^okt 
In  solemn  tenour  and  deep  organ-tone ; 
Some  mourning  words,  which   in   our  fsehb 

tongue 
Would  come  in  this  like  accenting ;  how  fiail 
To  that  large  utterance  of  the  early  godst 

*  Saturn,  look  up  I  and  for  what,  poor  ki^ 

king?  »• 

I  have  no  comfort  for  thee ;  no,  not  one ; 
I  cannot  say,  wherefore  thus  sleepest  thou? 
For  Heaven  is  parted  from  thee,  and  the  Etf^ 
Knows  thee  not,  so  afflicted,  for  a  god. 
The  Ocean,  too,  with  all  its  solenm  noise. 
Has  from  thy  sceptre  pass'd ;  and  all  the  air 
Is  emptied  of  thy  hoary  majesty. 
Thy  thunder,  captious  at  the  new  oommsad. 
Rumbles  reluctant  o'er  our  fallen  house ; 
And  thy  sharp  lightning,  in  unpraotis'd  hssfc 
Scourges  and  bums  our  once  serene  domais.  S** 

*  With  such  remorseless  speed  still  come  t0^ 

woes. 
That  unbelief  has  not  a  space  to  breaths. 
Saturn  I  sleep  on :  me  thoughtless,  why  shostf  ^ 


Vf 


'i> 


HYPERION:   A  VISION 


237 


Thus  yiolate  thy  alnmbroiu  solitude  ? 
Why  should  I  ope  thy  melaneholy  eyes  ? 
Satom !  sleep  on,  while  at  thy  feet  I  weep.' 

As  when  upon  a  tranced  summer-night 
Forests,  branch-charmed  by  the  earnest  stars. 
Dream,  and  so  dream  all  night  without  a  noise, 
Saye  from  one  gradual  solitary  gust  3S> 

Swelling  upon  the  silence,  dying  off, 
As  if  the  ebbing  air  had  but  one  wave. 
So  came  these  words  and  went;  the  while  in 

tears 
She  prest  her  fair  large  forehead  to  the  earth, 
Just  where  her  fallen  hair  might  spread  in 

curls, 
A  soft  and  silken  net  for  Saturn's  feet. 
Long,  long  these  two  were  postured  motionless. 
Like  sculpture  builded-up  upon  the  graye 
Of  their  own  power.    A  long  awful  time        360 
I  look'd  upon  them :  still  they  were  the  same ; 
The  frozen  God  still  bending  to  the  earth. 
And  the  sad  Goddess  weeping  at  his  feet ; 
Moneta  silent.    Without  stay  or  prop 
But  my  own  weak  mortality,  I  bore 
The  load  of  this  eternal  quietude. 
The  unchanging  gloom    and  the   three  fixed 

shapes 
Ponderous  upon  my  senses,  a  whole  moon  ; 
For  by  my  burning  brain  I  measured  sure 
Her  silver  seasons  shedded  on  the  night,        370 
And  every  day  by  day  methought  I  grew 
More  gaunt  and  ghostly.    Oftentimes  I  pray'd 
Intense,  that  death  would  take  me  from  the 

vale 
And  all  its  burthens ;  gasping  with  despair 
Of  change,  hour  after  hour  I  curs'd  myself. 
Until  old  Saturn  rais'd  his  faded  eyes. 
And  look'd  around  and  saw  his  kingdom  gone. 
And  all  the  gloom  and  sorrow  of  the  place. 
And  that  fair  kneeling  Goddess  at  his  feet. 

As  the  moist  scent  of  flowers,  and  grass,  and 
leaves  380 

Pills  forest-dells  with  a  pervading  air, 
E[nown  to  the  woodland  nostril,  so  the  words 
Of  Saturn  fill'd  the  mossy  glooms  around. 
Even  to  the  hollows  of  time-eaten  oaks. 
And  to  the  windings  of  the  foxes'  hole. 
With  sad,  low  tones,  while  thus  he  spoke,  and 

sent 
Strange  meanings  to  the  solitary  Pan. 
*  Moan,  brethren,  moan,  for  we  are  swallow'd 

up 
And  buried  from  all  godlike  exercise 
Of  influence  benign  on  planets  pale,  39^ 

And  peaceful  sway  upon  man's  harvesting,       * 
And  all  those  acts  which  Deity  supreme 


Doth  ease  its  heart  of  love  in.  Moan  and  wail ; 
Moan,  brethren,  moan ;  for  lo,  the  rebel  spheres 
Spin  round;   the  stars  their   ancient  courses 

keep; 
Clouds  still  with  shadowy  m<Msture  haunt  the 

earth. 
Still  suck  their  fill  of  light  from  sun  and  moon ; 
Still  buds  the  tree,  and  still  the  seashores  mur- 
mur; 
There  is  no  death  in  all  the  universe. 
No  smell  of  death.  —  There  shall  be  death. 
Moan,  moan ;  400 

Moan,  Cybele,  moan ;  for  thy  pernicious  babes 
Have  chang'd  a  god  into  an  aching  palsy. 
Moan,  brethren,  moan,  for  I  have  no  strength 

left; 
Weak  as  the  reed,  weak,  feeble  as  my  voice. 
Oh  I  Oh  I  the  pain,  the  pain  of  feebleness ; 
Moan,  moan,  for  still  I  thaw ;  or  give  me  help. 
Throw  down  those  imps,  and  give  me  victory. 
Let  me  hear  other  groans,  and  trumpets  blown 
Of  triumph  calm,  and  hjrmns  of  festival. 
From  the  gold  peaks  of  heaven's  high-piled 
douds ;  410 

Voices  of  soft  proclaim,  and  silver  stir 
Of  strings  in  hollow  shells ;  and  there  shall  be 
Beautiful  things  made  new,  for  the  surprise 
Of  the  sky-children.'    So  he  feebly  ceased. 
With  such  a  poor  and  sickly-sounding  pause, 
Methought  I  heard  some  old  man  of  the  earth 
Bewailing  earthly  loss  ;  nor  could  my  eyes 
And  ears  act  with  that  unison  of  sense 
Which  marries  sweet  sound  with  the  grace  of 

form. 
And  dolorous  accent  from  a  tragic  harp         4^0 
With  large  limb'd  visions.    More  I  scrutinized. 
Still  fixt  he  sat  beneath  the  sable  trees. 
Whose  arms  spread  straggling  in  wUd  serpent 

forms, 
With  leaves  all  hush'd;   his  awful  presence 

there 
(Now  all  was  silent)  gave  a  deadly  lie 
To  what  I  erewhile  heard :  only  his  lips 
Trembled  amid  the  white  curls  of  his  beard ; 
They  told  the  truth,  though  round  the  snowy 

locks 
Hung  nobly,  as  upon  the  face  of  heaven 
A  mid-day  fleece  of  clouds.    Thea  arose       430 
And  stretcht  her  white  arm  through  the  hol- 
low dark. 
Pointing  somewhither :  whereat  he  too  rose, 
Like  a  vast  giant,  seen  by  men  at  sea 
To  grow  pale  from  tho  waves  at  dull  mid- 
night. 
They  melted  from  my  sight  into  the  woods ; 
Ere  I  could  turn,  Moneta  cried,  *'  These  twain 
Are  speeding  to  the  families  of  grief, 


// 


238 


SUPPLEMENTARY  VERSE 


:V/^ 


Where,  rooft  in  by  black  rocks,  they  waste  in 

pain 
And  darkness,  for  no  hope.'    And  she  spake 

on, 
As  ye  may  read  who  can  unwearied  pass        440 
Onward  from  the  antechamber  of  this  dream, 
Where,  even  at  the  open  doors,  awhile 
I  most  delay,  and  glean  my  memory 
Of  her  high  phrase — perhaps  no  forther  dare* 


CANTO  II 

*  Mortal,  that  thou  may'st  understand  aright, 
I  humanize  my  sayings  to  thine  ear. 
Making  comparisons  of  earthly  things ; 
Or  thou  might*st  better  listen  to  the  wind. 
Whose  language  is  to  thee  a  barren  noise. 
Though  it  blows  legend-laden  thro'  the  trees. 
In  melancholy  realms  big  team  are  shed, 
More  sorrow  like  to  this,  and  such  like  woe. 
Too  huge  for  mortal  tongue  or  pen  of  scribe. 
The  Titans  fierce,  self-hid  or  prison-bound,      10 
Groan  for  the  old  aUegiance  once  more. 
Listening  in  their  doom  for  Saturn's  voice. 
But  one  of  the  whole  eagle-brood  still  keeps 
His  sovereignty,  and  rule,  and  majesty : 
Blazing  Hyperion  on  his  orbed  fire 
Still  sits,  still  snuffs  the  incense  teeming  up 
PVom  Man  to  the  Sun's  God  —  yet  insecure. 
For  as  upon  the  earth  dire  prodigies 
Fright  and  perplex,  so  also  shudders  he  ; 
Not  at  dog's  howl  or  gloom-bird's  hated  screech, 
Or  the  familiar  visiting  of  one  ai 

Upon  the  first  toll  of  lus  passing  bell, 
Or  prophesyiugs  of  the  midnight  lamp ; 
But  horrors,  portioned  to  a  giant  nerve, 
Make  grreat  Hyi>erion  ache.    His  palace  bright, 
Bastion'd  with  pyramids  of  shining  gold, 
And  touch'd  with  shade  of  bronzed  obelisks. 
Glares  a  blood-red  thro'  aU  the  thousand  courts, 
Arches,  and  domes,  and  fiery  galleries  ; 
And  all  its  curtains  of  Aurorian  clouds  30 

Flash  angerly ;  when  he  would  taste  the  wreaths 
Of  incense  breath'd  aloft  from  sacred  hiUs, 
Instead  of  sweets,  his  ample  palate  takes 
Savour  of  poisonous  brass  and  metals  sick  ; 
Wherefore  when  harbour'd  in  the  sleepy  West, 
After  the  full  completion  of  fair  day. 
For  rest  divine  upon  exalted  couch. 
And  slumber  in  the  arms  of  melody. 
He  paces  through  the  pleasant  hours  of  ease. 
With  strides  colossal,  on  from  hall  to  haU,       40 
While  far  within  each  aisle  and  deep  recess 
His  winged  minions  in  close  clusters  stand 
Amaz'd,  and  full  of  fear ;  like  anxious  men. 
Who  on  a  wide  plain  gather  in  sad  troops. 


When  earthquakes  jar  their  battlements  and 
/         towers. 

Even  now  where  Saturn,  rous'd  from  icy  trance, 
Qoea  step  for  step  with  Thea  from  yon  woods, 

^%Fp$rion,  leaving  twilight  in  th^rear, 

^Isjlg]^^  to  the  threshold  of  the 
Thitherwe  tend.' '  Ifowfanslearlight  I  stood, 
Reliev'd  from  the  dusk  vale.    Mnemosyne      51 
Was  sitting  on  a  square-edg'd  polish'd  stone. 
That  in  its  lucid  depths  refiected  pure 
Her  priestess'  garments.   My  quick  eyes  ran  on 
From  stately  nave  to  nave,  irom.  vault  to  vault. 
Through  bow'rs  of  fragrant  and  enwreathed 

light. 
And  diamond-paved  lustrous  long  arcades. 
Anon  rush'd  by  the  bright  Hyperion ; 
His  flaming  robes  stream 'd  out  beyond  his  heels. 
And  gave  a  roar  as  if  of  earthy  fire,  60 

That  scar'd  away  the  meek  ethereal  hours. 
And  made  their  dove-wings  tremble.    On  he 
flared. 


II.  FRAGMENTS 

The  three  fragments  that  f oUow  are  pub- 
lished in  Life,  Letters  and  Literary  Semains, 
without  date. 


Where  's  the  Poet  ?    Show  him  I  show  him. 
Muses  nine  I  that  I  may  know  him  I 
'T  is  the  man  who  with  a  man 

Is  an  equal,  be  he  King, 
Or  poorest  of  the  beggar-clan, 

Or  any  other  wondrous  thing 
A  man  may  be  'twixt  ape  and  Plato  ; 

'T  is  the  man  who  with  a  bird. 
Wren,  or  Eagle,  finds  his  way  to 

All  its  instincts ;  he  hath  heard 
The  Lion's  roaring,  and  can  tell 

What  his  homy  throat  expresseth. 
And  to  him  the  Tiger's  yell 

Comes  articulate  and  presseth 
On  his  ear  like  mother-tongue. 


II 


MODERN   LOVE 

And  what  is  love  ?    It  is  a  doll  dress'd  up 
For  idleness  to  cosset,  nurse,  and  dandle ; 
A  thing  of  soft  nusnomers,  so  divine 
That  silly  youth  doth  think  to  make  itself 
Divine  by  loving,  and  so  goes  on 
Yawning  and  doting  a  whole  summer  long, 
Till  Miu's  comb  is  made  a  peari  tiara, 


>♦ 


FRAGMENTS 


239 


And  common  Wellingtons  tarn  Romeo  boots ; 
Then  Cleopatra  lives  at  number  seven. 
And  Antony  resides  in  Bmnswick  Square. 
Fools  I  if  some  passions  high  have  warmed  the 

world, 
If  Queens  and  Soldiers  have  played  deep  for 

hearts. 
It  is  no  reason  why  such  agonies 
Should  be  more  conunon  than  the  growth  of 

weeGS* 
Fools  I    make  me  whole  again   that  weighty 

pearl 
The  Queen  of  i^rypt  melted,  and  I  *11  say 
That  ye  may  love  in  spite  of  beaver  hats. 


Ill 


FRAGMENT  OF  *  THE  CASTLE  BUILDER' 

To-KIOHT  I  *11  have  my  friar  —  let  me  think 
About  my  room  —  I  ^U  have  it  in  the  pink ; 
It  should  be  rich  and  sombre,  and  the  moon, 
Just  in  its  mid-life  in  the  midst  of  June, 
Should  look  thro*  four  large  windows  and  dis- 
play 
Clear,  but  for  gold-fish  vases  in  the  way. 
Their  glassy  diamonding  on  Turkish  floor ; 
The  tapers  keep  aside,  an  hour  and  more. 
To  see  what  else  the  moon  alone  can  show  ; 
While  the  night-breeze  doth  softly  let  us  know 
My  terrace  is  well  bower 'd  with  oranges. 
Upon  the  floor  the  dullest  spirit  sees 
A  guitar-ribband  and  a  lady's  glove 
Beside  a  crumple-leaved  tale  of  love ; 
A  tambour-frarae,  with  Venus  sleeping  there, 
All  finished  but  some  ringlets  of  her  hair ; 
A  viol,  bow-strings  torn,  cross-wise  upon 
A  glorious  folio  of  Anacreon  ; 
A  skull  upon  a  mat  of  roses  Ijdng, 
InkM  purple  with  a  song  concerning  dying ; 
An  hour-glass  on  the  turn,  amid  the  tnuls 
Of  passion-flower ;  —  just  m  time  there  sails 
A  cloud  across  the  moon,  —  the  lights  bring 

in! 
And  see  what  more  my  phantasy  can  win. 
It  is  a  gorgeous  room,  but  somewhat  sad ; 
The  draperies  are  so,  as  tho*  they  had 
Been  made  for  Cleopatra's  winding^heet ; 
And  opposite  the  stedfast  eye  doth  meet 
A  spacious  looking-glass,  upon  whose  face, 
In  letters  raven-sombre,  you  may  trace 
Old  *  Mene,  Mene,  Tekel  Uphandn.' 
Greek  busts  and  statuary  have  ever  been 
Held,  by  the  finest  spirits,  fitter  far, 
Than  vase  grotesque  and  Siamesian  jar ; 
Therefore  't  is  sure  a  want  of  Attic  taste 


That  I  should  rather  love  a  €k>thic  waste 
Of  eyesight  on  cinque-coloured  potterV  day, 
Than  on  the  marble  fairness  of  old  Oreeoe. 
My  table-ooverlits  of  Jason's  fleece 
And  black  Numidian  sheep -wool  should   be 

wrought. 
Gold,  black,  and  heavy,  from  the  Lama  brought. 
My  ebon  sofas  should  delicious  be 
With  down  from  Leda's  cygnet  progeny. 
My  pictures  all  Salvator's,  save  a  few 
Of  Utian's  portraiture,  and  one,  though  new. 
Of  E[aydon's  in  its  fresh  magnificence. 
My  wine  —  O  good !  't  is  here  at  my  desire, 
And  I  must  sit  to  supper  with  my  friar. 


IV 


EXTRACTS  FROM   AN  OPERA 

first  given  in  JAft^  Letterg  and  Literary  JSe- 
mainSf  and  there  dated  1818.  In  that  case,  it  is 
most  likely  that  the  verses  farmed  a  portion  of 
some  experiment  going  on  to  the  autunm  after 
Keats's  return  from  his  northern  journey. 

O !  WERB  I  one  of  the  Olympian  twelve. 
Their  godships  should  pass  this  into  a  law,  — 
That  when  a  nuin  doth  set  himself  in  toil 
After  some  beauty  veiled  far  away. 
Each  step  he  took   should   make  his  lady's 

hand 
More  soft,  more  white,  and  her  fur  cheek  more 

fair; 
And  for  each  briar-berry  he  might  eat, 
A  kiss  should  bud  upon  the  tree  of  love. 
And  pulp  and  ripen  richer  every  hour. 
To  melt  away  upon  the  traveller's  lips. 


daisy's  song 

Thb  sun,  with  his  great  eye. 
Sees  not  so  much  as  I ; 
And  the  moon,  all  silver-proud. 
Might  as  well  be  in  a  doud. 

And  O  the  spring  —  the  spring  I 
I  lead  the  life  of  a  King ! 
Couch'd  in  the  teeming  grass, 
I  spy  each  pretty  lass. 

I  look  where  no  one  dares, 
And  I  stare  where  no  one  stares, 
And  when  the  night  is  nigh. 
Lambs  Ueat  my  lullaby. 


240 


SUPPLEMENTARY  VERSE 


folly's  song 

Whbn  wedding  fiddles  are  arplajring. 

Huzza  for  folly  O I 
And  when  maidens  go  a-Maying, 

Huzza,  etc. 
When  a  milk-pail  is  upset. 

Huzza,  etc. 
And  the  clothes  left  in  the  wet, 

Huzza,  etc. 
When  the  harrel  's  set  ahroaoh. 

Huzza,  etc. 
When  Kate  Eyehrow  keeps  a  coach. 

Huzza,  etc. 
When  the  pig  is  ovei^roasted, 

Huzza,  etc. 
And  the  cheese  is  oyei^toasted. 

Huzza,  etc. 
When  Sir  Snap  is  with  his  lawyer, 

Huzza,  etc. 
And  Miss  Chip  has  kiss'd  the  sawyer ; 

Huzza,  etc. 


Oh,  I  am  frightened  with  most  hateful  thoughts  1 
Perhaps  her  voice  is  not  a  nightingale's. 
Perhaps  her  teeth  are  not  the  fairest  pearl ; 
Her  eye-lashes  may  be,  for  aught  I  know. 
Not   longer   than    the    May-fly's    small   fan- 
horns; 
There  may  not  be  one  dimple  on  her  hand  ; 
And  freckles  many  ;  ah !  a  careless  nurse, 
In  haste  to  teach  ihe  little  thing  to  walk, 
May  have  crumpt  up  a  pair  of  Dian's  legs. 
And  warpt  the  ivory  of  a  Juno's  neck. 


SONG 

Ths  stranger  lighted  from  his  steed. 
And  ere  he  spake  a  word. 

He  seiz'd  my  lady's  lily  hand, 
And  kiss'd  it  all  unheard. 


The  stranger  walk'd  into  the  hall, 
And  ere  he  spake  a  word. 

He  kiss'd  my  lady's  cherry  lips. 
And  kiss'd  'em  all  unheard. 

The  stranger  walk'd  into  the  bower. 
But  my  lady  first  did  go,  — 

Ay  hand  in  hand  into  the  bower. 
Where  my  lord's  roses  blow. 

My  lady's  maid  had  a  silken  scarf. 
And  a  golden  ring  had  she, 


And  a  kiss  from  the  stranger,  as  off  he 
on  his  palfrey. 


AsiiBBP  1  O  sleep  a  little  while,  white  pearl  I 
And  let  me  kneel,  and  let  me  pray  to  thee, 
And  let  me  call  Heaven's  blessing  on  tf»i"^ 

eyes. 
And  let  me  breathe  into  the  happy  air, 
That  doth  enfold  and  touch  thee  all  about. 
Vows  of  my  slavery,  my  giving  up. 
My  sudden  adoration,  my  great  love  I 

III.  FAMILIAR  VERSES 

STANZAS  TO  MISS  WYLIE 

These  verses  belong  to  1810.  It  is  not  im- 
possible that  like  the  valentine  on  p.  11,  thsj 
were  written  for  the  use  of  George  Keats. 

O  COMB,  Georgiana  I  the  rose  is  full  blown. 
The  riches  of  Flora  are  lavishly  strown. 
The  air  is  all  softness,  and  crystal  the  streams ; 
The  West  is  resplendently  clothed  in  beams. 

O  come  !  let  us  haste  to  the  freshening  shades, 
The  quaintly  carv'd  seats,  and  the   <^ieniiiir 

glades; 
Where  the  faeries  are  chanting  their  evenisf 

hymns, 
And  the  last  sun-beam  the  sylph  lightly  swim. 

And  when  thou  art  weary,  I  'U  find  thee  a  bed 
Of  mosses  and  flowers  to  pillow  thy  head  : 
And  there  Georgiana  I  '11  sit  at  thy  feet. 
While  my  story  of  love  I  enraptur'd  repeat 

So  fondly  I  '11  breathe,  and  so  softly  1 11  sigh« 
Thou  wilt  think  that  some  amorous  zephyr  i 

nigh; 
Tet  no  —as  I  breathe  I  will  press  thy  fair  kn»< 
And  then  thou  wilt  know  that  the  sigh  eom^ 

from  me. 

Ah  I  whv,  dearest  girl,  should  we  lose  all  thetf 

blisses? 
That  mortal 's  a  fool  who  such  happiness  missed 
So  smile  acquiescence,  and  give  me  thy  hand. 
With  love-looking  eyes,  and  with  voioe  sweet^ 

bland. 

EPISTLE  TO  JOHN   HAMILTON  REYNOLDS 

*My  dear  Reynolds,'  writes  Keats  fif 
Teignmouth,  March  25,  1818,  *In  hopes  ^ 
cheering  yon  through  a  minute  or  two,  I  w^ 


ft 


FAMILIAR  VERSES 


241 


determined,  will  he,  nill  he,  to  send  yoa  aome 
lines,  so  you  will  excuse  the  unconnected  sub- 
ject and  careless  veise.  Ton  know,  I  am  sure, 
Claude's  Enchanted  Castle,  and  I  wish  yon  may 
be  pleased  with  my  remembrance  of  it.' 

Deab  Reynolds !    As  last  night  I  lay  in  bed. 
There  came  before  my  eyes  that  wonted  thread 
Of  shapes,  and  shadows,  and  remembrances, 
That  every  other  minute  vex  and  please : 
Things  all   disjointed  come  from  north  and 

south, — 
Two  Witch's  eyes  above  a  Cherub's  mouth, 
Voltaire  with  casque  and  shield  and  habergeon. 
And  Alexander  with  his  nightcap  on ; 
Old  Socrates  a-tying  his  cravat. 
And  Hazlitt  playing  with  Miss  Edgeworth's 

oat ;  >o 

And  Junius  Brutus,  pretty  well  so  so. 
Making  the  best  of  's  way  towards  Soho. 

Few  are  there  who  escape  these  visitings,  — 
Perhaps  one  or  two  whose  lives  have  patent 

wings, 
And  thro'  whose  curtains  peeps  no  hellish  nose. 
No  wild-boar  tushes,  and  no  Mermaid's  toes ; 
But  flowers  bursting  out  with  lusty  pride. 
And  young  .^lolian  harps  personif y'd ; 
Some  Titian  colours  touch'd  into  real  life,  — 
The  sacrifice  goes  on  ;  the  pontiff  knife  20 

Gleams  in  the  Sun,  the  milk-white  heifer  lows. 
The  pipes  go  shrilly,  the  libation  flows : 
A  white  sail  shows  above  the  green-head  cliff, 
Moves  round  the  point,  and  throws  her  anchor 

stiff; 
The  mariners  join  hymn  with  those  on  land. 

You  know  the  Enchanted  Castle,  —  it  doth 
stand 
Upon  a  rock,  on  the  border  of  a  Lake, 
Nested  in  trees,  which  all  do  seem  to  shake 
From  some  old  magic-like  Urganda's  sword. 
O  Phoebus  I  that  I  had  thy  sacred  word  30 

To  show  this  Castle,  in  fair  dreaming  wise. 
Unto  my  friend,  while  sick  and  ill  he  lies ! 

Ton  know  it  well  enough,  where  it  doth  seem 
A  mossy  place,  a  Merlin's  Hall,  a  dream ; 
You  know  the  clear  Lake,  and  the  little  Isles, 
The  mountains  blue,  and  cold  near  neighbour 

rills. 
All  which  elsewhere  are  but  half  animate ; 
There  do  they  look  alive  to  love  and  hate. 
To  smiles  and  frowns ;   they   seem  a   lifted 

mound 
Above  some  giant,  pulsing  underground.         40 


Part  of  the  building  was  a  chosen  See, 
Built  by  a  banish'd  Santon  of  Chaldee ; 
The  other  part,  two  thousand  years  from  him. 
Was  built  by  Cuthbert  de  Saint  Aldebrim ; 
Then  there 's  a  little  wing,  far  from  the  Sun, 
Built  by  a  Lapland  V^tch  tum'd  maudlin  Nun ; 
And  many  other  juts  of  aged  stone 
Founded  with  many  a  mason-devil's  groan. 

The  doors  all  look  as  if  they  op'd  themselves : 
The  windows  as  if  latch'd  by  Fays  and  £lves,5o 
And  from  them  comes  a  silver  flash  of  light. 
As  from  the  westward  of  a  Summer's  night; 
Or  like  a  beauteous  woman's  large  blue  eyes 
Gone  mad  through  olden  songs  and  poesies. 

See  !  what  is  coming  from  the  distance  dim  I 
A  golden  Galley  all  in  silken  trim  I 
Three  rows  of  oars  are  lightening,  moment 

whiles 
Into  the  verd'rous  bosoms  of  those  isles ; 
Towards  the  shade,  under  the  Castle  wall. 
It  comes  in  silence,  —  now  't  is  hidden  all.      60 
The  Clarion  sounds,  and  from  a  Postern-gate 
An  echo  of  sweet  music  doth  create 
A  fear  in  the  poor  Herdsman  who  doth  bring 
His  beasts  to  trouble  the  enchanted  spring,  — 
He  tells  of  the  sweet  music,  and  the  spot. 
To  all  his  friends,  and  they  believe  him  not. 

O  that  our  dreamings  all,  of  sleep  or  wake. 
Would  all  their  colours  from  the  sunset  take : 
From  something  of  material  sublime,  69 

Rather  than  shadow  our  own  soul's  day-time 
In  the  dark  void  of  night.    For  in  the  world 
We  jostle,  — but  my  flag  is  not  unfurl'd 
On  the  Admiral-staff,  —  and  so  philosophise 
I  dare  not  yet  I    O,  never  will  the  prize. 
High  reason,  and  the  love  of  good  and  ill. 
Be  my  award  1    Things  cannot  to  the  will 
Be  settled,  but  they  tease  us  out  of  thought ; 
Or  is  it  imagination  brought 
Beyond  its  proper  bound,  yet  still  oonfin'd. 
Lost  in  a  sort  of  Purgatory  blind,  80 

Cannot  refer  to  any  standard  law 
Of  either  earth  or  heaven  ?    It  is  a  flaw 
In  happiness,  to  see  beyond  our  bourn.  — 
It  forces  us  in  summer  skies  to  mourn. 
It  spoils  the  fringing  of  the  Nightingale. 

Dear  Reynolds  I    I  have  a  mysterious  tale. 
And  cannot  speak  it:  the  first  page  I  read 
Upon  a  Lampit  rock  of  green  se»-weed 
Among  the  breakers ;  't  was  a  quiet  eve. 
The  rooks  were  silent,  the  wide  sea  did  weave 
An  untnmnltuous  fringe  of  silver  foam  9> 

Along  the  flat  brown  sand ;  I  was  at  home 


242 


SUPPLEMENTARY  VERSE 


And  should  have  been  most  happy,  —  bat  I  saw 

As  doth  a  mother  wild, 

Too  far  ioto  the  sea,  where  every  maw 

When  her  young  infant  child 

The  greater  on  the  less  feeds  eyermore.  — 

Is  in  an  eagle's  claws — 

Bat  I  saw  too  distinct  into  the  oore 

And  is  not  this  the  cause 

Of  an  eternal  fierce  destruction. 

Of  madness  ?  — God  of  Song, 

And  so  from  happiness  I  far  was  gone. 

Thou  bearest  me  along 

Still  am  I  sick  of  it,  and  tho*  to^y, 

Through  sights  I  scarce  can  bear : 

I  'ye  gathered  young  spring-leayes,  and  flowers 

0  let  me,  let  me  share 

gay                                                          too 

With  the  hot  lyre  and  thee. 

Of  periwinkle  and  wild  strawberry. 

The  staid  Philosophy. 

Still  do  I  that  most  fierce  destruction  see,  — 

Temper  my  lonely  hours. 

The  Shark  at  sayage  prey, — the   Hawk  at 

And  let  me  see  thy  bowers 

pounce, — 

More  unalarm'd  I 

The  gentle  Robin,  like  a  Pard  or  Ounce, 

Rayening  a  worm,  —  Away,  ye  homd  moods  I 

AT  TEIGNMOUTH 

Moods  of  one's  mind  I    You  know  I  hate  them 

well. 

Sent  as  part  of  a  letter  to  Haydon,  written 

You  know  I  'd  sooner  be  a  cli4>ping  Bell 

from  Teignmouth,  March  21,  1818.     *I  have 

To  some  Kamschatkan  Missionary  Church, 

enjoyed  the  most  delightful  walks  these  three 

Than  with  these  horrid  moods  be  left  i'  the 

fine  days  beautiful  enough  to  make  me  content 

lurch. 

here  all  the  summer  could  I  stay.' 

A  DRAUGHT  OF  SUNSHINE 

HsBE  aU  the  summer  could  I  stay. 

For  there 's  Bishop's  teign 

And  King's  teign 

81, 1818.    '  I  cannot  write  in  prose,'  says  Keats ; 

And  Coomb  at  the  dear  teign  head  — 

'it  is  a  sunshiny  day  and  I  cannot,  so  here 

W  here  close  by  the  stream 

goes.' 

You  may  have  your  cream 

*^ 

All  spread  upon  barley  bread. 

Hence  Burgundy,  Claret,  and  Port, 

Away  with  old  Hook  and  Madeira, 

There 's  arch  Brook 

Too  earthly  ye  are  for  my  sport ; 

And  there 's  larch  Brook 

There  's  a  beyerage  brighter  and  clearer. 

Both  turning  many  a  mill ; 

Instead  of  a  pitiful  rummer, 

And  cooling  the  drouth 

My  wine  overbrims  a  whole  smnmer ; 

Of  the  salmon's  mouth 

My  bowl  is  the  sky, 

And  fattening  his  silver  gill. 

And  I  drink  at  my  eye, 

Till  I  feel  in  the  brain 

There  is  Wild  wood, 

A  Delphian  pain  — 

AMUdhood 

Then  follow,  my  Caius  I  then  follow : 

To  the  sheep  on  the  lea  o'  the  down. 

On  the  green  of  the  hill 

Where  the  golden  furze 

We  will  drink  our  fill 

With  its  green,  thin  spurs, 

Of  golden  sunshine. 

Doth  catch  at  the  maiden's  gown. 

Till  our  brains  intertwine 

With  the  glory  and  grace  of  ApoUo  I 

There  is  Newton  marsh 

Qod  of  the  Meridian, 

With  its  spear  grass  harsh  — 

And  of  the  East  and  West, 

A  pleasant  summer  level 

To  thee  my  soul  is  flown, 

Where  the  maidens  sweet 

And  my  body  is  earthward  press'd.  — 

Of  the  Market  Street, 

It  is  an  awful  mission, 

Do  meet  in  the  dusk  to  revel. 

A  terrible  division ; 

And  leaves  a  gulf  austere 

There 's  the  Barton  rich 

To  be  fill'd  with  worldly  fear. 

With  dyke  and  ditch 

Aye,  when  the  soul  is  fled 

And  hedge  for  the  thrush  to  live  in  ; 

To  high  above  our  head. 

And  the  hollow  tree 

Affrighted  do  we  gaze 

For  the  buzzing  bee. 

After  its  airy  maze. 

And  a  bank  for  the  wasp  to  hire  in. 

FAMILIAR  VERSES 


243 


And  O,  and  O 

The  daisies  blow 
And  the  primroses  are  waken'd. 

And  the  yiolets  white 

Sit  in  silver  plig^ht. 
And  the  g^een  bad  *s  as  long  as  the  spike  end. 

Then  who  would  go 

Into  dark  Soho, 
And  chatter  with  dack'd  hair'd  crildos, 

When  he  can  stay 

For  the  new-mown  hay. 
And  startle  the  dappled  Prickets  ? 

THE  DEVON    MAID 

Immediately  after  the  preceding,  Keats 
adds :  *  I  know  not  if  this  rhyming  fit  has  done 
anything — it  will  be  safe  with  yon  if  worthy 
to  put  among  i|iy  Lyrics.  Here 's  some  dog- 
grel  for  yon/  and  these  four  stanzas  follow. 

Whebe  be  ye  going,  you  Devon  Maid  ? 

And  what  have  ye  there  in  the  Basket  ? 
Ye  tight  little  fairy  just  fresh  from  the  dairy, 

Will  ye  give  me  some  cream  if  I  ask  it  ? 

I  love  your  Meads,  and  I  love  your  flowers, 

And  I  love  your  junkets  midnly. 
But  'hind  the  door  I  love  kissing  more, 

O  look  not  so  disdainly. 

I  love  your  hills,  and  I  love  your  dales. 
And  I  love  your  flocks  a-bleating  — 

But  O,  on  the  heather  to  lie  together. 
With  both  our  hearts  a-beating  I 

I  Ul  put  your  Basket  all  safe  in  a  nook. 
Tour  shawl  I  hang  up  on  the  willow. 

And  we  will  sigh  in  the  daisy^s  eye 
And  Idss  on  a  grass  green  pillow. 

ACROSTIC  : 
GEORGIANA  AUGUSTA   KEATS 

This  is  dated  *  Foot  of  Helvellyn,  June  27,' 
I8I8,  and  was  sent,  as  something  overlooked, 
to  his  brother  and  sister.  September  18,  1819. 
*  I  wrote  it  in  a  great  hurry  which  you  will 
see.  Indeed  I  would  not  copy  it  if  I  thought 
it  would  ever  be  seen  by  any  but  yourselves.' 

Give  me  your  patience,  sister,  while  I  frame 
Exact  in  capitals  your  golden  name ; 
Or  sue  the  fair  Apollo  and  he  will 
Rouse  from  his  heavy  slumber  and  instill 


Great  love  in  me  for  thee  and  Poesy. 
Imagine  not  that  greatest  mastery 
And  kingdom  over  all  the  Reahns  of  verse, 
Nears  more  to  heaven  in  aught,  than  when  we 

nurse 
And  surety  give  to  love  and  Brotherhood. 

Anthropophagi  in  Othello's  mood ; 
Uljrsses  storm'd  and  his  enchanted  belt 
Glow  with  the  Muse,  but  they  are  never  felt 
Unbosom'd  so  and  so  eternal  made. 
Such  tender  incense  in  their  laurel  shade 
To  all  the  regent  sisters  of  the  Nine 
As  this  poor  offering  to  you,  sister  mine. 

Kind  sister !  ay,  this  third  name  says  you  are ; 
Enchanted  has  it  been  the  Lord  knows  where ; 
And  may  it  taste  to  you  like  good  old  wine, 
Take  you  to  real  happiness  and  give 
Sons,  daughters  and  a  home  like  honied  hive. 


MEG   MERRILIES 

Sent  in  a  letter  to  Fanny  Keats,  written  from 
Auchencaim,  July  2,  1818.  'We  are  in  the 
midst  of  Meg  Merrilies  country  of  whom  I  sup* 
pose  you  have  heard.'  Fanny  Keats  was  a 
g^l  of  fifteen  at  this  time. 

Old  Meg  she  was  a  Gipsy, 

And  liv'd  upon  the  Moors : 
Her  bed  it  was  the  brown  heath  turf. 

And  her  house  was  out  of  doors. 

Her  apples  were  swart  blackberries. 

Her  currants  pods  o'  broom ; 
Her  wine  was  dew  of  the  wild  white  rose, 

Her  book  a  churchyard  tomb. 

Her  Brothers  were  the  craggy  hills. 

Her  Sisters  larchen  trees  — 
Alone  with  her  great  family 

She  liv'd  as  she  did  please. 

No  breakfast  had  she  many  a  mom. 

No  dinner  many  a  noon. 
And  'stead  of  supper  she  would  stare 

Full  hard  against  the  Moon. 

But  every  mom  of  woodbine  fresh 

She  made  her  garlanding. 
And  every  night  the  dark  glen  Yew 

She  wove,  and  she  would  sing. 

And  with  her  fingers  old  and  brown 
She  plaited  Mats  o'  Rushes, 


s^rPi.B2*!5l^ 


VEB-SB 


I 


There '««»»^^J*»' 
He  too*      , 

B«j,,^e., 


be^ 


rjo  a»e  n"**" 

Get  up  •»*^'' 
Of  a  g^o^®' 


FAMILIAR  VERSES 


245 


Of  Fish,  a  px«tty  Kettle, 
AKetdel 


There  was  a  naughty  Boy, 

And  a  naughty  Boy  was  he, 
He  laa  away  to  SeotUnd 
The  people  for  to  see  — 

Then  he  found 

That  the  ground 

Was  as  hard, 

Thatayard 

Was  as  long. 

That  a  song 

Was  as  merry. 

That  a  cherry 

Was  as  red  — 

That  lead 

Was  as  weighty. 

That  f onrsoore 

Was  as  eighty, 

That  a  door 

Was  as  wooden 

As  in  England  — 
So  he  stood  in  his  shoes 

And  he  wonderM, 

He  wondered, 
He  stood  in  his  shoes 

And  he  wondered. 


TO  THOMAS   KEATS 


(for  BAllantiaa)  Jtdy  10  [1818.] 

^  I  ken  ye  what  I  met  the  day 

Out  oore  the  Bfonntains 
A  eoBing  down  by  craggies  gray 

An  moane  fountains  — 
Ak  good-hair'd  Marie  yeve  I  pray 

Aae  mimite's  guessing — 
For  that  I  met  upon  the  way 

^  part  expressing. 
^  I  rtood  where  a  rocky  brig 

A  tonent  erosaes 
1  *pied  upon  a  misty  rig 

Atioupo'  Horaes— 
^  ••  they  trotted  down  the  glen 
^  "pad  to  meet  them 
^^•««if  I  might  know  the  Men 

To  stop  and  greet  them. 
'^  WnHe  on  his  sleek  mare  came 

At  oanting  gallop 
^!*iQg hair  rustled  like  a  flame 
j^  hoard  a  ahallop, 
'^«tae  his  brother  Rab  and  then 

A^P««y'aMither 

^j*  ^•tty  too — adown  the  glen 

^vwttogithar— 


I  saw  her  wrappit  in  her  hood 

Frae  wind  and  raining — 
Her  cheek  was  flush  wi'  timid  blood 

Twixt  growth  and  waning  — 
She  turned  her  daxed  eyes  full  oft 

For  there  her  Brithers 
Came  riding  with  her  Bridegroom  soft 

And  mony  ithers. 
Young  Tam  came  up  and  eyed  me  quick 

With  reddened  cheek  — 
Braw  Tom  was  dafPed  like  a  chick  — 

He  conldna  speak  — 
Ah,  Marie,  they  are  all  gane  hame 

Through  blustering  weather 
An*  every  heart  is  full  on  flame 

An*  light  as  feather. 
Ah  !  Marie,  they  are  all  gone  hame 

Frae  happy  wadding, 
Whilst  I  —  Ah  is  it  not  a  shame  f 

Sad  team  am  shedding. 

THE  GADFLY 

Inclosed  in  a  letter  to  Tom  Keats,  July  IT, 
1818. 

All  gentle  folks  who  owe  a  grudge 

To  any  living  thing 
Open  your  ears  and  stay  your  t(r)udge 

Whilst  I  in  dudgeon  sing. 

The  Gadfly  he  hath  stung  me  sore  — 

O  may  he  ne*er  sting  you  I 
Bat  we  have  many  a  horrid  bore,  — 

He  may  sting  black  and  blue. 

Has  any  here  an  old  gray  Mare 
With  three  legs  all  her  store, 

O  put  it  to  her  Buttocks  bare 
And  straight  she  '11  run  on  four. 

Has  any  here  a  Lawyer  suit 

Of  1743, 
Take  Lawyer's  nose  and  put  it  to  *t 

And  you  the  end  will  see. 

Is  there  a  Man  in  Parliament 
I>um(b)founder*d  in  his  speech, 

O  let  his  neighbour  make  a  rent 
And  put  one  in  his  breech. 

O  Lowther  how  much  better  thou 

Hadst  figured  t'  other  day 
When  to  the  folks  thou  mad'st  a  bow 

And  hadst  no  more  to  say. 

If  lucky  Gadfly  had  but  ta'att 

aea*  •  •  • 


i 


246 


SUPPLEMENTARY  VERSE 


And  put  thee  to  a  little  pain 
To  sare  thee  from  a  wone. 

Better  than  Southey  it  had  heen, 

Better  than  Mr.  D 

Better  than  Wordsworth,  too,  I  ween, 

Better  than  Mr.  V . 

Forgive  me,  pray,  good  people  all. 

For  deviating  ao  — 
In  spirit  snre  I  had  a  call  — 

And  now  I  on  will  go. 

Has  any  here  a  daughter  fair 
Too  fond  of  reading  novels, 

Too  apt  to  fall  in  love  with  care 
And  charming  Mister  Lovels, 

0  pat  a  Gadfly  to  that  thing 
She  keeps  so  white  and  pert  — 

1  mean  the  finger  for  the  ring, 
And  it  will  breed  a  wort. 

Has  any  here  a  pious  spouse 

Who  seven  times  a  day 
Scolds  as  King  David  pray*d,  to  chouse 

And  have  her  holy  way — 

0  let  a  Gadfly's  little  sting 
Persuade  her  sacred  tongue 

That  noises  are  a  conunon  thing, 
But  that  her  bell  has  rung. 

And  as  this  is  the  summum  bo- 
num  of  all  conquering, 

1  leave  *  withouten  wordes  mo ' 
The  Gadfly's  little  sting. 


ON     HEARING    THE     BAG-PIPE     AND     SEEING 
*THE   STRANGER'   PLAYED  AT   INVERARY 

*0n  entering  Inverary,'  Keats  writes  to  his 
brother  Tom,  July  18,  1818, '  we  saw  a  Play 
Bill.  Brown  was  knocked  up  from  new  shoes 
—  so  I  went  to  the  Bam  alone  where  I  saw  the 
Stranger  accompanied  by  a  Bag-pipe.  There 
they  went  on  about  interesting  creaters  and 
human  nater  till  the  Curtain  fell  and  then 
came  the  Bag-pipe.  When  Mrs.  Haller  fainted 
down  went  the  Curtain  and  out  came  the  Bag- 
pipe —  at  the  heartrending,  shoemending  recon- 
ciliation the  Piper  blew  amain.  I  never  read 
or  saw  this  play  before ;  not  the  Bag-pipe  nor 
the  wretched  players  themselves  were  little  in 


comparison  with  it — thank  heaven  it  has  bees 
scoffed  at  lately  almost  to  a  faahion.' 

Of  late  two  dainties  were  before  me  plao'd 
Sweet,  holy,  pure,  sacred  and  innooent. 
From  the  ninth  sphere  to  me  benignly  sent 
That  Qods  might  know  my  own  paitieiilar 

taste: 
First  the  soft  Bagpipe  momm'd  with  lealooa^ 
haste. 
The  Stranger  next  with  head  on  bosom  bent 
Sigh'd;  rueful  again  the  jnteons  Bag^pip^ 
went. 
Again  the  Stranger  sighings  fresh  did  waste. 
O  Bag-pipe,  thon  didst  steal  my  heart  away — 
O  Stranger,  thou  my  nerves  from  Pipe  didsfc 
charm  — 
O  Bag-pipe  thou  didst  re-ossert  thy  sway  — 

Again  thou.  Stranger,  gav'st  me  fresh  alaxm — 
Alas  I  I  could  not  choose.  Ah !  my  poor  hesii 
Mum  chance  art  thoa  with  both  obUg*d  to  part. 


LINES   WRITTEN    IN  THE  HIGHLANDS  AFTER 
A  VISIT  TO   BURNS'S  COUNTRY 

In  a  letter  to  Benjamin  Bailey  from  the 
Island  of  Mull,  July  22, 1818. 

There  is  a  charm  in  footing  slow  aoroas  asilent 

plain. 
Where  patriot  battle  has  been  fooght,  where 

glory  had  the  gain ; 
There  is  a  pleasure  on  the  heath  where  Dndds 

old  have  been. 
Where  mantles  gray  have  rustled  by  and  swept 

the  nettles  green ; 
There  is  Joy  in  every  spot  made  known  by 

times  of  old, 
New  to  the  feet,  although  each  tale  a  hundred 

times  be  told ; 
There  is  a  deeper  Joy  than  all,  more  ■^l^www  in 

the  heart. 
More  parching  to  the  tongue  than  all,  of  mora 

divine  a  smart. 
When  weary  steps  forget  themselvea  upon  a 

pleasant  turf. 
Upon  hot  sand,  or  flinty  road,  or  sea-shos«  iron 

scurf. 
Toward  the  Castle  or  the  Cot,  where  long  ago 

was  bom 
One  who  was  great  through  mortal  daya,  and 

died  of  fame  unshorn. 
Light  heather-beUs  may  tremble  then,  bvt  they 

are  far  away ; 
Wood-lark  may  sing  from  sandy  fern, — the 

Sun  may  hear  his  Lay ; 


FAMILIAR   VERSES 


247 


^Qntb  may  kin  die  gnw  on  shelves  and  Bhal- 

lowselear, 
Bm  thflir  low  Toiees  sre  not  heard,  though 

eome  on  trsrels  drear ; 
Blood-ied  the  son  may  set  hehind  black  monn- 


Bias  tides  may  shnee  and  dxeneh  their  time  in 

Cayes  and  weedy  oreeki ; 
oay  seem  to  sleep  wing-wide  npon  the 

Air; 
^ardores  may  fly  eooTnls'd  across  to  some 


Betthefoigotteneyeissdll  fast  lidded  to  the 

gnmad. 
As  Fifaner's,  that  with  weariness,  mid-desert 

shnie  hath  foond. 

At  laeli  a  time  the  sool  *8  a  child,  in  child- 
hood is  the  brain ; 
'vfsttan  is  the  worldly  heart— alone,  it  beats 


iji,  if  a  Madman  ooold  haye  leave  to  pass  a 

hsalthfolday 
To  tall  his  forehead*s  swoon  and  faint  when 

first  began  dfceay, 
Bs  Bi(ht  make  tremble  many  a  one  whose  spirit 

had  gone  forth 
To  find  a  Bard's  low  oradleiibMie  abont  the 

silent  North. 
Scanty  the  hoar  and  few  the  steps  beyond  the 

bomns  o£  Care, 
Beyead  the  sweet  and  bitter  world,  —  beyond 

it  vmwarel 
Seaaty  the  hoar  and  few  the  steps,  becanse  a 

kmgerstay 
WWd  bar  retnm,  and  make  a  man  forget  his 

Mortal  way: 
O  kssTihle !  to  lose  the  sight  of  well  remem- 

bor'dfaee. 
Of  BrotlMr's  eyes,  of  Sister's  brow  —  constant 
to  every  plaee ; 
the  Air,  as  on  we  move,  with  Portrai- 


thaa  those  heroic  tints  that  pain  a 


of  old  eome  striding  by,  and  vis- 
ofold, 

blaek,  hair  seanty  gray,  and  pas- 
maaifbld. 
Xet,  ao),  that  horror  cannot  be,  for  at  the  cable's 


ieels  the  gentle  siichor  poll  and  gladdens 
is  its  strength :  - 

Msr,  halKidiot,  he  stands  by  mossy  water- 
fiJl, 
Bat  in  the  very  muA  he  reads  his  soul's  Memo- 
rial:— 


He  reads  it  on  the  mountain's  height,  where 
chance  he  may  sit  down 

Upon  rough  marble  diadem  —  that  hill's  eter- 
nal Crown. 

Yet  be  his  Anchor  e'er  so  fast,  room  is  there 
for  a  prayer 

That  man  may  never  lose  his  Mind  on  Moun- 
tains black  and  bare ; 

That  he  may  stray  league  after  league  some 
great  birthplace  to  fibod 

And  keep  his  vision  clear  from  speck,  his  in- 
ward  sight  unbliud. 


MRS.  CAMERON   AND  BEN   NEVIS 

In  his  letter  to  Tom  Keats,  August  8,  1818, 
which  contains  the  sonnet  written  on  Ben  Ne- 
vis, Keats  concludes  a  lively  account  of  the 
ascent  they  made  with  this  bit  of  nonsense :  — 

After  all  there  was  one  Birs.  Cameron  of  50 
years  of  age  and  the  fattest  woman  in  all  In- 
verness-shire who  got  up  this  Mountain  some 
few  years  ago  —  true  she  had  her  servants^ 
but  then  she  bad  herself.  She  ought  to  have 
hired  Sisyphus,  —  "  Up  the  high  hill  he  heaves 
a  hug^  round  —  Birs.  Cameron."  'T  is  said  a 
little  conversation  took  place  between  the 
mountain  and  the  Lady.  After  taking  a  glass 
of  Whisky  as  she  was  tolerably  seated  at  ease 
she  thus  began  — 

MRS.  c. 

Upon  my  life  Sir  Nevis  I  am  piqued 
That  I  have  so  far  panted  tugg'd  and  reek'd 
To  do  an  honor  to  your  old  bald  pate 
And  now  am  sitting  on  you  just  to  bait. 
Without  your  paying  me  one  compliment. 
Alas,  't  is  so  with  all,  when  our  intent 
Is  plain,  and  in  the  eye  of  all  Mankind 
We  fair  ones  show  a  preference,  too  blind  I 
Yon  Gentle  man  immediately  turn  tail  — 
O  let  me  then  my  hapless  fate  bewail ! 
Ungrateful  Baldpate  have  I  not  disdain'd 
The  pleasant  Valleys — have  I  not  madbrain*d 
Deserted  all  my  Pickles  and  preserves 
My  China  closet  too  —  with  wretched  Nerves 
To  boot  — say,  wretched  ingrate,  have  I  not 
Left  my  soft  cushion  chair  and  caudle  pot  f 
'Tis  true  I  had    no  corns  —  no!    thank    the 

fates 
My  Shoemaker  was  always  Mr.  Bates. 
And  if  not  Mr.  Bates  why  I  'm  not  old  ! 
Still  dumb  ungrateful  Nevis — still  so  cold ! 


243 


SUPPLEMENTARY   VERSE 


Here  the  Lady  took  some  more  whisky  and 
was  puttini^  even  more  to  her  lips  when  she 
dashed  it  to  the  Ground,  for  the  Mountain  be- 
gan to  gramble  —  which  continued  for  a  few 
minntes  before  he  thus  began  — 

BEN    NEVIS. 

What  whining  bit  of  tongue  and  Mouth  thus 

dares 
Disturb  my  slumber  of  a  thousand  years  ? 
Even  so  long  my  sleep  has  been  secure  — 
And  to  be  so  awakM  I  '11  not  endure. 
Oh  pain  —  for  since  the  Eagle's  earliest  scream 
I  'ye  had  a  damn'd  confounded  ugly  dream, 
A  Nightmare  sure.    Whatl   Madam,  was  it 

you? 
It  cannot  be  !    My  old  eyes  are  not  true ! 
Red-Crag,  my  Spectacles  I    Now  let  roe  see ! 
Good  Heavens  I    Lady,  how  the  gemini 
Did  you  get  here  ?    O,  I  shall  split  my  sides ! 
I  shall  earthquake  — 

Sweet  Nevis  do  not  quake,  for  though  I  love 
Your  honest  Countenance  all  things  above. 
Truly  I  should  not  like  to  be  convey'd 
So  far  into  your  Bosom — gentle  Miud 
Loves  not  too  rough  a  treatment,  gentle  Sir  — 
Pray  thee  be  calm  and  do  not  quake  nor  stir 
No,  not  a  Stone,  or  I  shall  go  in  fits  — 

BEN   NEVIS. 

I  must  —  I  shall  —  I  meet  not  such  tit  bits  — 
I  meet  not  such  sweet  creatures  every  day  — 
By  my  old  nightcap  night  and  day 
I  must  have  one  sweet  Buss — I  must  and  shall  1 
Red  Crag !  —  What  I  Madam,  can  you  then  re- 
pent 
Of  all  the  toil  and  vigour  you  have  spent 
To  see  Ben  Nevis  and  to  touch  his  nose  ? 
Red  Crag  I  say !    O  I  must  have  them  close  I 
Red  Crag,  there  lies  beneath  my  farthest  toe 
A  vein  of  Sulphur  —  go,  dear  Red  Crag,  go  — 
And  rub  your  flinty  back  agunst  it — budge  I 
Dear  Madam,  I  must  kiss  you,  faith  I  must  I 
I  must  embrace  you  with  my  dearest  gust  I 
Block-head,    d'  ye    hear  I  —  Block-head,    I  'U 

make  her  feel. 
There  lies  beneath  my  east  leg's  northern  heel 
A  cave  of  young  earth   dragons; — well  my 

boy 
Qo  thither  quick  and  so  complete  my  joy. 
Take  you  a  bundle  of  the  largest  pines, 
And  when  the  sun  on  fiercest  Phosphor  shines, 
Fire  them  and  ram  them  in  the  Dragon's  nest. 
Then  will  the  dragons  fry  and  fizz  their  best 


Until  ten  thousand  now  no  bigger  than 
Poor  Alligators  —  poor  things  of  one  span  — 
WiU  each  one  swell  to  twioe  ten  times  the 

size 
Of  northern  whale  — then  for  the  tender  prize  — 
The  moment  then  —  for  then  will  Red  Crag  rub 
His  flinty  back  — and  I  shall  kiss  and  snub 
And  press  my  dainty  morsel  to  my  breast. 
Block-head  make  haste ! 

O  Muses,  weep  the  rest  — 
The  Lady  fainted  and  he  thought  her  dead ; 
So  pulled  the  clouds  again  about  his  head 
And  went  to  sleep  again ;  soon  she  was  rons'd 
By  her  affrighted  servants  —  next  day,  hons'd 
Safe  on  the  lowly  ground  she  bless'd  her  fate 
That  fainting  fit  was  not  delayed  too  late. 

But  what  surprised  me  above  all  is  how 
the  lady  got  down  again.  I  felt  it  horribly. 
'Twas  the  most  vile  descent — shook  me  all 
to  pieces. 


SHARING  eve's  •APPLE 

Printed  by  Mr.  Forman  and  assigned  to  1818. 
Mr.  Forman  does  not  give  his  authority,  save 
to  say  that  the  verses  have  been  handed  about 
in  manuscript. 

O  BLUSH  not  so !    O  blush  not  so  I 

Or  I  shall  think  you  knowing  ; 
Aiid  if  you  smile  the  blushing  while. 

Then  maidenheads  are  going. 

There's  a  blush  for  won't,  and  a  blush  for 
shan't. 
And  a  blush  for  having  done  it : 
There  's  a  blush  for  thought  and  a  blnah  for 
nought. 
And  a  blush  for  just  begun  it. 

O  sigh  not  so  I    O  sigh  not  so ! 

For  it  sounds  of  Eve's  sweet  pippin ; 
By  these  loosen*  d  lips  you  have  tasted  the  pipa 

And  fought  in  an  amorous  nipping. 

Will  you  play  once  more  at  nioe-out-core. 
For  it  cndy  will  last  our  youth  out. 

And  we  have  the  prime  of  the  kissing  time. 
We  have  not  one  sweet,  tooth  out. 

There 's  a  sigh  for  yes,  ai  d  a  sigh  for  no. 

And  a  sigh  for  I  can't  bear  it  I 
O  what  can  be  done,  shall  we  stay  or  nm  ? 

O  cut  the  sweet  apple  and  shaze  it  I 


FAMILIAR  VERSES 


249 


A  prophecy: 

TO  GEORGE  KEATS  IN   AMERICA 

Ii  •  letter  to  his  brother  and  his  wife,  Octo- 
W  31, 1818,  Keats  says :  '  If  I  had  a  prayer 
towks  for  any  great  good,  next  to  Tom*8  re- 
wvuy,  it  should  be  that  one  of  your  children 
iiMld  be  the  first  American  Poet.  I  have  a 
gmt  Bund  to  make  a  prophecy,  and  they  say 
ywplwcies  work  on  their  own  fulfilment.' 

Tis  the  witching  time  of  night. 

Orbed  is  the  moon  and  bright. 

And  the  Stars  they  glisten,  glisten, 

SiemiBg  with  bright  eyes  to  listen. 

For  what  listen  they? 

For  a  song  and  for  a  charm, 

See  they  glisten  in  ahum. 

And  the  Moon  is  waxing  warm 

To  hear  what  I  shall  say. 

Mooo  I  keep  wide  thy  golden  ears  — 

Hesrken,  Stars  I  and  hearken.  Spheres  I  — 

Hearken,  thon  eternal  Sky ! 

I  lini;  an  infant's  Lullaby, 

0  pretty  luUaby  I 

listen,  listen,  listen,  listen. 

Glisten,  glisten,  glisten,  glisten. 

And  hear  my  Lullaby  I 

Tboogh  the  Rushes,  that  will  make 

Its  eradle,  stiD  are  in  the  lake  — 

Tboogh  the  linen  that  will  be 

Its  swathe,  is  on  the  cotton  tree  — 

Tlioagh  the  woollen  that  will  keep 

It  warm,  is  on  the  silly  sheep  — 

ListsB,  Starlight,  listen,  listen. 

Glisten,  glisten,  glisten,  glisten. 

And  hear  my  lullaby ! 

Child,  I  see  thee  I    Child,  I  've  found  thee 

IGdst  of  the  quiet  all  around  thee ! 

Chad.  I  see  thee  I    Child,  I  spy  thee ! 

And  thy  mother  sweet  is  nigh  thee  I 

Child,  I  know  thee  I    Child  no  more. 

But  a  Poet  evermore  I 

S««,  see,  the  Lyre,  the  Lyre, 

Ib  a  flame  of  fire, 

Upoa  the  Httle  cradle's  top 

FbviBg,  flaring,  flaring. 

Past  the  eyesight*s  bearing. 

Awake  it  from  I*b  sleep. 

And  see  if  it  eaa  keep 

Ita  eyes  npoa  the  Uaxe — 

It  at  area,  it  itansa,  it  stares. 
It  dai<aa  what  no  one  dares  I 
Jfc  fifia  Its  little  hand  into  the  flame 


Unharm'd,  and  on  the  strings 
Paddles  a  IttUe  tune,  and  sings. 
With  dumb  endeayour  sweetly  — 
Bard  art  thou  oompletely  I 

Little  child 

O*  th'  western  wild. 
Bard  art  thou  oompletely  I 
Sweetly  with  dumb  endeavour, 
A  Poet  now  or  never, 

Little  child 

Cth'  western  wUd, 
A  Poet  now  or  never  I 


A   LITTLE  EXTEMPORE 

Inclosed  in  a  letter  to  Qeotge  and  Georgl- 
ana  Keats,  written  April  15,  1819. 

When  they  were  come  into  the  Faery's  Court 
They  rang —  no  one  at  home  —  all  gone  to  sport 
And  dance  and  kiss  and  love  as  faeries  do 
For  Faries  be  as  humans  lovers  true. 
Amid  the  woods  they  were  so  lone  and  wild. 
Where  even  the  Robin  feels  himself  exiled. 
And  where  the  very  brooks,  as  if  afraid, 
Hurry  along  to  some  lees  magic  shade. 

*  No  one  at  home  I  *  the  fretful  Princess  cry'd ; 

*  And  all  for  nothing  «uch  a  dreary  ride, 
And  all  for  nothing  my  new  diamond  croes ; 
No  one  to  see  my  Persian  feathers  toss. 

No  one  to  see  my  Ape,  my  Dwarf,  my  Fool, 

Or  how  I  pace  my  (Haheitan  mule. 

Ape,  Dwarf,  and  Fool,  why  stand  yon  gaping 

there. 
Burst  the  door  open,  quick  —  or  I  declare 
I  *11  switch  you  soundly  and  in  pieces  tear.' 
The  Dwarf  began  to  tremble,  and  the  Ape 
Star*d  at  the  Fool,  the  Fool  was  all  agape. 
The  Princess  grasped  her  switch,  but  just  in 

time 
The  dwarf  with  piteous  face  began  to  rhyme. 

*  O  mighty  Princess,  did  you  ne^er  hear  tell 
What  your  poor  servants  know  but  too  too 

well? 
Know  you  the  three  great  crimes  in  Faeryland  ? 
The  first,  alas !  poor  Dwarf,  I  understand, 
I  made  a  whipstock  of  a  faery's  wand ; 
The  next  is  snoring  in  their  company  ; 
The  next,  the  last,  the  direst  of  the  three. 
Is  making  free  when  they  are  not  at  home. 
I  was  a  Prince  —  a  baby  prince  —  my  doom. 
You  see,  I  made  a  whipstock  of  a  wand. 
My  top  has  henceforth  slept  in  faery  land. 
He  was  a  Prince,  the  Fool,  a  grown-up  Prince, 
Bnt  he  has  never  been  a  King's  son  since 
He  fell  a  snoring  at  a  faery  BalL 


250 


SUPPLEMENTARY  VERSE 


Yon  poor  Ape  was  a  Prince,  and  he  poor  itdng 
Hoklook'd  a  faery's  boadoir — now  no  kingr 
Bnt  ape  —  so  pray  your  highness  stay  awhile, 
T  is  sooth  indeed,  we  know  it  to  our  sorrow  — 
Persist  and  you  may  be  an  ape  to-morrow.' 
While  the  Dwarf  spake,  the  Princess,  all  for 

spite, 
Peel'd  the  brown  hazel  twig  to  lily  white. 
Clenched  her  small  teeth,  and  held  her  lips 

apart, 
TVy'd  to  look  nnconoem'd  with  beating  heart. 
They  saw  her  highness  had  made  np  her  mind, 
A-qnavering  like  the  reeds  before  the  wind  — 
And  they  had  had  it,  bnt  O  happy  chance  I 
The  Ape  for  very  fear  began  to  dance 
And  grinn'd  as  all  his  ugliness  did  ache  — 
She  staid  her  yizen  fingers  for  his  sake. 
He  was  so  very  ugly :  then  she  took 
Her  pocket-mirror  and  began  to  look 
First  at  herself  and  then  at  him,  and  then 
She  smil'd  at  her  own  beanteons  face  again. 
Yet  for  all  this  —  for  aU  her  pretty  face  — 
She  took  it  in  her  head  to  see  the  place. 
Women  gain  little  from  experience 
Either  in  Lovers,  husbands,  or  expense. 
The  more  their  beauty  the  more  fortune  too — 
Beauty  before  the  wide  world  never  knew  — 
So  each  fair  reasons  —  tho'  it  oft  miscarries. 
She  thought  her  pretty  face  would  please  the 

fairies. 
*  My  darling  Ape,  I  wont  whip  you  to-day. 
Give  me  the  Picklock  sirrah  and  go  play.* 
They  all  three  wept  but  counsel  was  as  vain 
As  crying  cup  biddy  to  drops  of  rain. 
Yet  lingering  by  did  the  sad  Ape  forth  draw 
The  Hcklock  from  the  Pocket  in  his  Jaw. 
The  Princess  took  it,  and  dismounting  straight 
Tripped  in  blue  silvered  slippers  to  the  gate 
And  touched  the  wards,  the  Door  full  courteous 
Opened  — she  entered  with  her  servants  three. 
Again  it  closed  and  there  was  nothing  seen 
But  the  Mule  grazing  on  the  herbage  green. 

End  of  Canto  X 11, 

CANTO  THE  XIII 

The  Mule  no  sooner  saw  himself  alone 

Than  he  prick'd  up  his  Ears  —  and  said  ^  well 

done; 
At  least  unhappy  Prince  I  may  be  free  — 
No  more  a  Princess  shall  side-saddle  me. 

0  King  of  Otaheite  —  tho'  a  Mule, 

**  Aye,  every  inch  a  King  "  —  tho'  "  Fortune's 

Fool," 
Well  done  —  for  by  what  Mr.  Dwarf y  said 

1  would  not  give  a  sixpence  for  her  head.' 
Even  as  he  spake  he  trotted  in  high  glee 
To  the  knotty  side  of  an  old  Pollard  tree. 


And  mbb'd  his  sides  against  the  mossed  bark 
TiU  his  Girths  burst  and  left  him  naked  stark 
Except  his  Bridle — how  get  rid  of  that 
Buckled  and  tied  with  many  a  twist  and  plait. 
At  last  it  struck  him  to  pretend  to  sleep. 
And  then  the  thievish  Monkeys  down  would 

creep 
And  filch  the  unpleasant  trammels  quite  away. 
No  sooner  thought  of  than  adown  he  lay, 
Sluunm'd  a  good  snore  —  the  Monkey<^nen  de- 
scended 
And  whom  they  thought  to  injure  they  be- 
friended. 
They  hung  his  Bridle  on  a  topmost  bough 
And  off  he  went  run,  trot,  or  anyhow  — 


SPENSERIAN     STANZAS    ON     CHARLES     ARMI- 

TAGE  BROWN 

Inclosed  in  a  letter  to  G^rge  and  Georgi- 
ana  Keats,  April  16  or  17, 1819:  *  Brown  this 
morning  is  writing  some  Spenserian  stanzas 
against  Birs.,  Miss  Brawne  and  me ;  so  I  shall 
amuse  myself  with  him  a  little :  in  the  manner 
of  Spenser.' 

He  is  to  weet  a  melancholy  Carle : 
Thin  in  the  waist,  with  bushy  head  of  hiur. 
As  hath  the  seeded  thistle  when  in  parle 
It  holds  the  Zephyr,  ere  it  sendeth  fur 
Its  light  balloons  into  the  summer  air ; 
There  to  his  beard  had  not  begun  to  bloom. 
No  brush  had   touch'd   his   chin,   or  razor 

sheer ; 
No  care  had  touched  his  cheek  with  mortal 
doom, 
But  new  he  was,  and  bright,  as  scarf  from  Per- 
sian loom. 

Ne  cared  be  for  wine,  or  half-and-half ; 
Ne  cared  he  for  fish,  or  flesh,  or  fowl ; 
And  sauces  held  he  worthless  as  the  chaff ; 
He 's  deigned  the  swineherd  at  the  wassail 

bowl; 
Ne  with  lewd  ribbalds  sat  he  cheek  by  jowl ; 
Ne  with  sly  Lemans  in  the  scomer's  chair ; 
But  after  water^brooks  this  Pilgrim's  soul 
Panted,  and  all  his  food  was  woodland  air ; 
Though  he  would  oft-times  feast  on  gilliflowers 

raro. 

The  slang  of  cities  in  no  wise  he  knew ; 
Tipping  the  wink  to  him  was  heathen  Qreek ; 
He  sipp'd  no  *  olden  Tom,'  or  *  ruin  blue,' 
Or  Nantz,  or  cherry-brandy,  drunk  full  meek 


FAMILIAR  VERSES 


251 


Hj  mamj  a  Daimel  hoane,  and  rouge  of 

ebeek; 
N«r  did  ha  know  eaeh  aged  Watchman^s 


Kor  IB  obeemed  pariieaa  would  he  seek 
V«r  enled  Jaauaw,  with  ankles  neat, 
WW,  M  thej  walk  abroad,  make  tinkling  with 
thebfeet. 


•  TWO  OR  THREE  POSIES  * 

At  the  doee  of  a  letter,  April  17, 1810,  to 
ha  Mter  Fanny,  Keats  writes :  '  Mr.  and  Mrs. 
DQb  are  eoming  to  dine  with  us  to-day  [at 
Weatworth  Place].  They  will  enjoy  the 
tontry  after  Westminster.  O  there  is  nothing 
fib  fine  weather,  and  health,  and  Books,  and  a 
Sm  eonatry,  and  a  contented  Mind,  and  dili- 
psl  habit  of  reading  and  thinking,  and  an 
assist  against  the  ennui  —  and,  please  hea- 
KM,  a  littla  claret  wine  cool  out  of  a  cellar  a 
nik  deep  —  with  a  few  or  a  g^ood  many  ratafia 
Mkts —  a  rocky  basin  to  bathe  in,  a  strawberry 
Wd  to  say  your  prayers  to  Flora  in,  a  pad  nag 
to  go  you  ten  miles  or  so ;  two  or  three  sensi- 
Ue  people  to  chat  with ;  two  or  three  spiteful 
bOa  to  spar  with ;  two  or  three  odd  fishes  to 
hsgb  at  and  two  or  three  numskulls  to  arg^e 
vitk — instead  of  using  dumb  bells  on  a  rainy 

Two  or  three  Pones 
With  two  or  three  simples  — 
Two  or  three  Noses 
With  two  or  three  pimples  — 
Two  or  three  wise  men 
And  two  or  three  ninny^s  — 
Two  or  three  purses 
And  two  or  three  guineas  — 
Two  or  three  rape 
At  two  or  three  doors — 
Two  or  three  naps 
Of  two  or  three  hours  — 
Two  or  three  Cats 
And  two  or  three  mice -* 
Two  or  three  sprats 
At  a  Tory  great  price  — 
Two  or  three  sandies 
And  two  or  three  tabbies  — 
Two  or  three  dandies 
And  two  Mrs.  mum  I 

Two  or  three  Smiles 
And  two  or  three  frowns — 
Two  or  three  Bfiles 
'  To  two  or  three  towns — 


Two  or  three  pegs 
For  two  or  three  bonnets  — 
Two  or  three  dore  eggs 
To  hatch  into  sonnets  — 


A  PARTY  OF  LOVERS 

*  Somewhere  in  the  Spectator  is  related  an 
account  of  a  man  inviting  a  party  of  stntterexs 
and  squinters  to  his  table.  It  would  please  me 
more  to  scrape  together  a  party  of  lovers  — 
not  to  dinner  but  to  tea.  There  would  be  no 
flighting  as  among  knights  of  old.'  Keats  to 
Qeorge  and  G^rgiana  Keats,  September  17, 
1S19.  The  play  on  names  seems  to  indicate 
some  trifling  reference  to  Keats's  pubUshers  of 
Taylor  and  Hessey. 

Pensiye  they  sit,  and  roll  their  languid  eyes. 
Nibble  their  toast,  and  cool  their  tea  with  sighs, 
Or  else  forget  the  purpose  of  the  night. 
Forget  their  tea —  forget  their  appetite. 
See  with  cross'd  arms  they  sit  —  ah  I  happy 

crew. 
The  fire  is  going  out  and  no  one  rings 
For  coals,  and  therefore  no  coals  Betty  brings. 
A  fly  is  in  the  milk-pot  —  must  he  die 

By  a  humane  society  ? 
No,  no  ;  there  Mr.  Werter  takes  his  spoon. 
Inserts  it,  dips  the  handle,  and  lo  I  soon 
The  little  straggler,  sav'd  from  perils  dark. 
Across  the  teaboard  draws  a  long  wet  mark. 

Arise  I  take  snuffers  by  the  handle. 
There 's  a  large  cauliflower  in  each  candle. 
A  winding-sheet,  ah  me  I    I  must  away 
To  No.  7,  just  beyond  the  circus  gay. 
*  Alas,  my  friend  I  your  coat  sits  very  well ; 
Where  may  your  Taylor  live  ? '    *  I  may  not 
tell. 

0  pardon  me  —  I  *m  absent  now  and  then. 
Where  might  my  Taylor  live  ?    I  say  again 

1  cannot  tell,  let  me  no  more  be  teaz'd  — 

He   lives   in  Wapping,   might  live  where  he 
pleased.* 


TO  GEORGE   KEATS 
WRITTEN    IN    SICKNESS 

This  is  from  a  transcript  by  George  Keats, 
and  dated  1819 ;  but  Keats's  letters  do  not  dis- 
close any  sickness  during  that  year  which 
would  be  likely  to  call  forth  the  lines,  and  the 
date  is  probably  1820,  if  indeed  we  are  anthoiw 


252 


SUPPLEMENTARY   VERSE 


ised  to  refer  this  poem  to  John  Keatt.  It  is 
not  impoBflible  that  it  was  written  by  Tom 
KeatB  in  1818. 

Brothisb  belov'd  if  health  shall  smile  ai^ain. 
Upon  this  wasted  form  and  fevered  cheek: 
If  eW  returning  Yigonr  bid  these  weak 
And  langrnid  limbs  their  grhulsome  strength  re- 
gain. 
Well  may  thy  brow  the  placid  glow  retain 
Of  sweet  content  and  thy  pleased  eye  may 

speak 
The  conscious  self  applause,  but  should  I  seek 
To  utter  what  this  heart  can  feel,  —  Ah  I  vain 
Were  the  attempt  t    Yet  kindest  friends  while 
o'er 
My  couch  ye  bend,  and  watch  with  tenderness 
The  being  whom  your  cares  could  e'en  restore. 
From  the  odd  grasp  of  Death,  say  can  yon 

guess 
The  feelings  which  these  lips  can  ne'er  ex- 
press? 
Feelings,  deep  fix'd  in  grateful  memory's  store. 


ON  OXFORD 

Charles  Armitage  Brown,  writing  to  Henry 
Snook  from  Hampetead  24  March,  1820,  says : 
'  Tom  shall  have  one  of  his  [Keats's]  bits  of 
comic  verses,  —  I  met  with  them  only  yester- 
day, but  they  have  been  written  long  ago,  — 
it  is  a  song  on  the  City  of  Oxford.' 

The  verses  were  also  copied  by  Keats  in  a 
letter  to  Reynolds,  given  below  on  p.  269,  as  a 
satirical  criticism  of  Wordsworth. 

Thb  Gothic  looks  solemn. 

The  plain  Doric  column 
Supports  an  old  Bishop  and  Crorier ; 

The  mouldering  arch, 

Shaded  o'er  by  a  larch. 
Stands  next  door  to  Wilson  the  Hosier. 


Vice,  —  that  is,  by  turns,  — 

O'er  pale  faooB  mourns 
The  black  tassell'd  trencher  and  common  hat ; 

The  charity  boy  sings. 

The  Steeple-bell  rings 
And  as  for  the  Chancellor  —  dominate 

There  are  plenty  of  trees. 

And  plenty  of  ease. 
And  plenty  of  fat  deer  for  Parsons ; 

And  when  it  is  yenison. 

Short  IS  the  benison,  — 
Then  each  on  a  leg  or  thigh  fastens. 


TO  A  CAT 

These  Terses  were  addressed  by  Keats  to  a 
cat  belonging  to  Mrs.  Re3rnolds  oi  Little  Bri- 
tain, the  mother  of  his  friend  John  Hamilton 
Reynolds.  Birs.  Reynolds  g^ve  the  verses  to 
her  son-in-law,  Tom  Hood,  who  published  them 
in  his  Comic  Annual  for  1830. 

Cat!  who  has[t]  pass'd  thy  grand  clima[e]* 
terio. 
How  many  mice  and  rats  hast  in  thy  days 
Destroy'd?  —  How  many  tit-bits   stolen? 
Ghue 
With  those  bright  languid  segments  green,  and 

prick 
Those  velvet  ears  —  but  pr'ythee  do  not  stick 
Thy  latent  talons  in  me — and  upraise 
Thy  gentle  mew  —  and  tell  me  all  thy  frays 
Of  fish  and  mice,  and  rats  and  tender  chick : 
Nay,  look  not  down,  nor  lick  thy  dainty  wrists 

For  all  the  wheezy  asthma,  —  and  for  all 
Thy  tail's  tip  la  nick'd  off  —  and  though  the 
fists 
Of  many  a  maid  has  given  thee  many  a  maul. 
Still  is  that  fur  as  soft  as  when  the  lists 
In  youtii  thou  enter'dst  on  glass-bottled  wall. 


LETTERS 


LETTERS   OF  JOHN   KEATS 


1.  TO  CHARTiKS  COWDKN  CLABJLB 

[London,  October  31, 1816.] 

Mr  DAnrrnc  Davib  —  I  will  be  as  panc- 
t«ul  u  the  Bee  to  the  Cloyer.  Very  glad 
^10 1  at  the  thoughts  of  seeing  so  soon  this 
glorious  Hajdon  and  all  his  creation.  I 
pfij  thee  lei  me  know  when  jou  go  to 
OUur's  and  where  he  resides  —  this  I  f or- 
K^  to  ask  you  —  and  tell  me  also  when 
T^  will  help  me  waste  a  sullen  day  —  God 
leldyotti—  J.  K. 

2.    TO  THE  SAIUB 

[Londoo,]  Tuesday  [December  17, 1816]. 

Mr  DKAK  Charles  —  You  may  now  look 

^  Minerva's  iEgis  with  impunity,  seeing 

^  my  awful  Visage  '  did  not  turn  you 

'^  a  Jdka  Doree.     You  have  accordingly 

^  legitimate  title  to  a  Copy  —  I  will  use 

^7  interest  to  procure  it  for  you.     I  '11  tell 

you  what  —  I  met  Reynolds  at  Haydon's  a 

^w  momiiigs  since  —  he  promised  to  be 

^  me  this  Eyening  and  Yesterday  I  had 

tie  itme  promise  from  Seyern  and  I  must 

pvt  yon  in  mind  thai  on  last  All  hallow- 

iBu'  day  yon  gave  me  your  word  that  you 

^^^  spend  this  Evening  with  me  —  so  no 

P^ittbg  off.     I  have  done  little  to  Endy- 

QBoo  Utely*  —  I  hope  to  finish  it  in  one 

^n  attack.     I  believe  you  I  went  to 

^icltttds's  —  it  was  so  whoreson  a  Night 

^  I  stopped  there  all  the  next  day.    His 

^^ttembranees  to  you.     (Ext.   from  the 

^^■■UBoii  place  Book  of  my  lliind  —  Mem. 

^Wednesday  —  Hampstead  —  call  in 

*»"»«  Street— -a  sketch  of  Mr.  Hunt.) 

"^1  will  ever  eonsider  you  my  sincere  and 

""'c^ioiiate  friend  —  you  will  not  doubt 

*•* Ism  yours. 

^Messyoa^  John  Keats. 


3.   TO  JOHN  HAMIIiTOK  RBTNOLDS 

[London,]  Sunday  Evening 
[March  2, 1817?]. 

Mt  dear  Reynolds  —  Your  kindness  * 
affects  me  so  sensibly  that  I  can  merely  put 
down  a  few  mono-sentences.  Your  Criti- 
cism only  makes  me  extremely  anxious  that 
I  should  not  deceive  you. 

It 's  the  finest  thing  by  God  as  Hazliti 
would  say.  However  I  hope  I  may  not 
deceive  you.  There  are  some  acquaint- 
ances of  mine  who  will  scratch  their  Beards 
and  although  I  have,  I  hope,  some  Charity, 
I  wish  their  Nails  may  be  long.  I  will  be 
ready  at  the  time  you  mention  in  all  Hap- 
piness. 

There  is  a  report  that  a  young  Lady  of 
16  has  written  the  new  Tragedy,  Grod  bless 
her  —  I  will  know  her  by  Hook  or  by 
Crook  in  less  than  a  week.  My  Brothers' 
and  my  Remembrances  to  your  kind  Sis- 
ters. 

Yours  most  sincerely 

John  Keats. 

4.    TO  THE  SAME 

[London,  March  17,  1817.] 
^  Mt  dear  Reynolds  —  My  Brothers  are 
anxious  that  I  should  go  by  myself  into  the 
country  —  they  have  always  been  extremely 
fond  of  me,  and  now  that  Haydon  has 
pointed  out  how  necessary  it  is  that  I  should 
be  alone  to  improve  myself,  they  give  up 
the  temporary  pleasure  of  living  with  me 
continually  for  a  great  good  which  I  hope 
will  follow.  So  I  shall  soon  be  out  of 
Town.  You  must  soon  bring  all  your  pre- 
sent troubles  to  a  close,  and  so  must  I,  but 
we  must,  like  the  Fox,  prepare  for  a  fresh 
swarm  of  flies.    Banish  money  —  Banish. 


•s. 


«S6 


LETTERS  OF  JOHN   KEATS 


lofos  —  Banish  Wine — Banish  Music ;  bat 
right  Jack  Health,  honest  Jack  Health, 
tme  Jack  Health  —  Banish  health  and 
banish  all  the  world.  I  must  .  .  .  myself 
...  if  I  come  this  eyening,  I  shall  horri- 
bly commit  myself  elsewhere.  So  I  will 
send  my  excuses  to  them  and  Mrs.  Dilke 
by  my  brothers. 

Your  sincere  friend 

John  Keats. 

5.  TO  OEOBOB  AND  THOMAS  KEATS 

[Southampton,]  Tuesday  Mom 
[April  15, 1817]. 

My  deab  Brothers  —  I  am  safe  at 
Southampton' — after  having  ridden  three 
stages  outside  and  the  rest  in  for  it  began  to 
be  very  cold.  I  did  not  know  the  Names  of 
any  of  the  Towns  I  passed  through  —  all  I 
can  tell  you  is  that  sometimes  I  saw  dusty 
Hedges  —  sometimes  Ponds —  then  nothing 

—  then  a  little  Wood  with  trees  look  you 
like  Launce's  Sister  'as  white  as  a  Lily 
and  as  small  as  a  Wand '  —  then  came 
houses  which  died  away  into  a  few  strag- 
gling Bams  —  then  came  hedge  trees 
aforesaid  again.  As  the  I^ampligbt  crept 
along  the  following  things  were  dbcovered 

—  '  long  heath  broom  furze '  —  Hurdles 
here  and  there  half  a  Mile  —  Park  pal- 
ings when  the  Windows  of  a  House  were 
always  discovered  by  reflection  —  One 
Nymph  of  Fountain  —  N.  B,  Stone  — 
lopped  Trees  —  Cow  ruminating  —  ditto 
Donkey  —  Man  and  Woman  going  gin- 
gerly along  —  William  seeing  his  Sisters 
over  the  Heath  —  John  waiting  with  a 
Lanthom  for  his  Mistress  —  Barber's  Pole 

—  Doctor's  Shop  —  However  after  having 
had  my  fill  of  these  I  popped  my  Head  out 
just  as  it  began  to  Dawn  —  N.  B,  this  Tues- 
day Mom  saw  the  Sim  rise  —  of  which  I 
shall  say  nothing  at  present.  I  felt  rather 
lonely  this  Morning  at  Breakfast  so  I  went 

^  -  and  unbox'd  a  Shakspeare  —  *  There  's 
my  Comfort.'  ^  I  went  immediately  after 
Breakfast  to  Southampton  Water  where  I 


^ 


enquired  for  the  Boat  to  the  Isle  of  Wight 
as  I  intend  seeing  that  place  before  I  set- 
tle —  it  will  go  at  3,  so  shall  I  after  having 
taken  a  Chop.  I  know  nothing  of  this 
place  but  that  it  is  long — tolerably  broad 

—  has  bye  streets  -^  two  or  three  Churches 

—  a  very  respectable  old  Gate  with  two 
Lions  to  guard  it.  The  Men  and  Women 
do  not  materially  differ  from  those  I  have 
been  in  the  Habit  of  seeing.  I  forgot  to 
say  that  from  dawn  till  half-past  six  I  went 
through  a  most  delightful  Country  —  some 
open  Down  but  for  the  most  part  thickly 
wooded.  What  surprised  me  most  was  an 
immense  quantity  of  blooming  Furze  on 
each  side  the  road  cutting  a  most  rural 
dash.  The  Southampton  water  when  I 
saw  it  just  now  was  no  better  than  a  low 
water  Water  which  did  no  more  than 
answer  my  expectations  —  it  will  have 
mended  its  Manners  by  3.  From  the 
Wharf  are  seen  the  shores  on  each  side 
stretching  to  the  Isle  of  Wight.  Tou, 
Haydon,  Reynolds,  etc.  have  been  pushing 
each  other  out  of  my  Brain  by  turns.  I 
have  conned  over  every  Head  in  Haydon's 
Picture  —  you  must  warn  them  not  to  be 
afraid  should  my  Ghost  visit  them  on 
Wednesday  —  tell  Haydon  to  Eass  his  Hand 
at  Betty  over  the  Way  for  me  yea  and  to 
spy  at  her  for  me.  I  hope  one  of  you  will 
be  competent  to  take  part  in  a  Trio  while  I 
am  away  —  you  need  only  aggravate  your 
voices  a  little  and  mind  not  to  speak  Cues 
and  all  —  when  you  have  said  Rum-ti-ti  — 
you  must  not  be  rum  any  more  or  else 
another  will  take  up  the  ti-ti  alone  and  then 
he  might  be  taken  God  shield  us  for  little 
better  than  a  Titmouse.  By  the  by  talking 
of  Titmouse  Remember  me  particularly  to 
all  my  Friends  —  give  my  Love  to  the  Miss 
Reynoldses  and  to  Fanny  who  I  hope  you 
will  soon  see.  Write  to  me  soon  about  them 
all  —  and  you  George  particularly  how  you 
get  on  with  Wilkinson's  plan.  What  could 
I  have  done  without  my  Plaid  ?  I  don't 
feel  inclined  to  write  any  more  at  present 
for  I  feel  rather  muzzy  —  you  must  be  con- 


TO  JOHN   HAMILTON    REYNOLDS 


257 


tent  with  this  fao  simile  of  the  rough  plan 
of  Aunt  Diuah's  Counterpane.^ 

Tour  most  affectionate  Brother 

John  Keatb. 

Reynolds  shall  hear  from  me  soon. 

6.      TO  JOHN  HAMILTON  REYNOLDS 

Carisbrooke,  April  17th  [1817]. 
My  dear  Reynolda  —  Ever  since  I 
wrote  to  my  Brothers  from  Southampton 
I  have  been  in  a  taking —  and  at  this 
moment  I  am  about  to  become  settled  — 
for  I  have  unpacked  my  books,  put  them 
into  a  snug  comer,  pinned  up  Haydon, 
Mary  Queen  of  Scots,  and  Milton  with  his 
daughters  in  a  row.  In  the  passage  I  found 
'.  a  head  of  Shakspeare  which  I  had  not  be- 
fore seen.  It  is  most  likely  the  same  that 
George  spoke  so  well  of,  for  I  like  it  ex- 
tremely. Well  —  this  head  I  have  hung 
over  my  Books,  just  above  the  three  in  a 
row,  having  first  discarded  a  Krench  Am- 
bassador —  now  this  alone  is  a  good  morn- 
ing's work.  Yesterday  I  went  to  Shanklin, 
which  occasioned  a  great  debate  in  my 
mind  whether  I  should  live  there  or  at 
Carisbrooke.  Shanklin  is  a  most  beautiful 
place  —  Sloping  wood  and  meadow  ground 
reach  round  the  Chine,  which  is  a  cleft  be- 
tween the  Cliffs  of  the  depth  of  nearly  300 
feet  at  least.  This  cleft  is  filled  with  trees 
and  bushes  in  the  narrow  part,  and  as  it 
widens  becomes  bare,  if  it  were  not  for 
primroses  on  one  side,  which  spread  to  the 
very  verge  of  the  Sea,  and  some  fishermen's 
huts  on  the  other,  perched  midway  in  the 
Balustrades  of  beautiful  green  Hedges 
along  their  steps  down  to  the  sands.  But 
the  sea.  Jack,  the  sea  —  the  little  waterfall 
—  then  the  white  cliff  —  then  St.  Cathe- 
rine's Hill  —  <  the  sheep  in  the  meadows,  the 
cows  in  the  com.'  Then,  why  are  you  at 
Carisbrooke  ?  say  you.  Because,  in  the  first 
place,  I  should  be  at  twice  the  Expense, 
and  three  times  the  inconvenience  —  next 
that  from  here  I  can  see  your  continent  — 


from  a  little  hill  close  by  the  whole  north 
Angle  of  the  Isle  of  Wight,  with  the  water 
between  us.  In  the  3rd  place,  I  see  Caris- 
brooke Castle  from  my  window,  and  have 
found  several  delightful  wood-alleys,  and 
copses,  and  quick  freshes.  As  for  prim- 
roses—  the  Island  ought  to  be  called 
Primrose  Island  —  that  is,  if  the  nation  of 
Cowslips  agree  thereto,  of  which  there  are 
divers  Clans  just  beginning  to  lift  up  their 
heads.  Another  reason  of  my  fixing  is,  that 
I  am  more  in  reach  of  the  places  around 
me.  I  intend  to  walk  over  the  Island  east 
—  West  —  North  —  South.  I  have  not 
seen  many  specimens  of  Ruins  —  I  don't 
think  however  I  shall  ever  see  one  to  sur- 
pass Carisbrooke  Castle.  The  trench  is 
overgrown  with  the  smoothest  turf,  and  the 
Walls  with  ivy.  The  Keep  within  side  is 
one  Bower  of  ivy  —  a  colony  of  Jackdaws 
have  been  there  for  many  years.  I  dare 
say  I  have  seen  many  a  descendant  of  some 
old  cawer  who  peeped  through  the  Bars 
at  Charles  the  first,  when  he  was  there  in 
Confinement.  On  the  road  from  Cowes  to 
Newp>ort  I  saw  some  extensive  Barracks^ 
which  disgusted  me  extremely  with  the 
Grovemment  for  placing  such  a  Nest  of  De- 
bauchery in  so  beautiful  a  place.  I  asked  a 
man  on  the  Coach  about  this  —  and  he  said 
that  the  people  had  be^n  spoiled.  In  the 
room  where  I  slept  at  Newport,  I  found 
this  on  the  Window  — « O  Isle  spoilt  by  the 
milotary  I  .  .  .' 

The  wind  is  in  a  sulky  fit,  and  I  feel  that 
it  would  be  no  bad  thing  to  be  the  favoorite 
of  some  Fairy,  who  would  give  one  the 
power  of  seeing  how  our  Friends  got  on  at 
a  Distance.  I  should  like,  of  all  Loves,  a 
sketch  3f  you  and  Tom  and  George  in  ink 
which  Haydon  will  do  if  you  tell  him  how 
I  want  them.  From  want  of  regular  rest  I 
have  been  rather  narvus  —  and  the  passage 
in  Lear — '  Do  you  not  hear  the  sea  ? '  ^- 
has  haunted  me  intensely. 

[Here  f  oIIowb  the  sonnet '  On  the  Sea,'  p.  37.) 


25« 


LETTERS  OF  JOHX   KEATS 


Afrilliidb. 
Will  jcm  haYe  the  foodaeat  to  do  tUs  ? 
Bofiow  *  BoCaninl  Dietionaiy — tmnt  to 
tbe  words  LmbcI  mmd  Fnuniy  show  the  ex- 
pIsMriofis  to  j<Nir  nflen  aad  Jin.  DQke 
•ad  wilbont  moffe  ado  let  them  send  me  the 
Cops  Basket  smI  Books  tkej  trifled  smI 
pot  off  aad  off  while  I  was  in  town.  Ask 
them  what  thej  ean  say  for  themselTes  — 
ask  Mrs.  DiJke  wherefore  she  does  so  dis- 
tress me  —  let  me  know  how  Jane  has  her 
health— the  Weather  is  nnfaToorahle  for 
her.    Tell  George  and  Tom  to  write.    Ill 

^tell  joo  what  —  on  the  23d  was  Shakspeare 
bom.  Now  if  I  should  receiye  n  letter  from 
joa  aad  another  from  m j  Brothers  on  that 
daj 't  would  benparioosgood  thing.  When- 
ever jott  write  w/lj  a  woid  or  two  on  some 
Passage  in  Shakspeare  that  ma j  hsTe  eome 

.jrather  new  to  you,  which  must  be  oon- 
tinnallj  hi^ipening,  notwithstanding  that 
we  read  the  same  Plaj  forty  times— for 
instance,  the  following  from  the  Tempest 
never  struck  me  so  forcibly  as  at  present^ 

'Urchins 
Hhall^  for  the  vast  of  night  thai  they  may  work. 
All  exercise  on  thee  —  ' 

How  can  I  help  bringing  to  your  mind  the 
line  — 
In  the  dark  backward  and  ahytm  of  time  — 
I  find  I  cannot  exist  without  Poetry  — 
without  eternal  Poetry — half  the  day  will 
not  do  —  the  whole  of  it  —  I  began  with  a 
little,  but  habit  has  made  me  a  Leviathan. 
I  had  become  all  in  a  Tremble  from  not 
having  written  anything  of  late  —  the  Son- 
net overleaf  did  me  good.  I  slept  the  better 
last  night  for  it  —  this  Morning,  however, 
I  am  nearly  as  bad  again.  Just  now  I 
opened  Spenser,  and  the  first  Lines  I  saw 
were  these  — 

*The    noble    heart    that    harbours    yirtuous 

thouifht, 
And  is  with  child  of  (glorious  great  intent. 
Can  never  rest  until  it  forth  have  broufcht 
Th'  eternal  brood  of  glory  excellent  —  * 

I^et  me  know  particularly  about  Haydon, 
ask  him  to  write  to  me  about  Hunt,  if  it  be 


onlytealiaes— Ihopeaniswcn — I  aUl 
forthwith  b^;ia  mj  EmtjmMm.  wioek  I 
hope  I  shall  have  got  soae  W17  witk  bj  the 
time  yon  cone,  whea  we  wfll  read  oar 
verses  in  a  deli^itfal  place  I  have  set  niy 
heart  upoD,  near  the  Castle.  Gtven^Lofe 
to  yoor  Sisters  seveially — to  Geotp  aad 
Tom.  Remember  me  to  Bioeb  Mr. 
Mrs.  Dilke  and  an 


Direct  J.  Keats,  Mb.  Cook's,  Kew  YU- 
lage,  Carishrooke. 

7.     TO  IXIOH  HTUT 

Haisate,  May  10, 1817. 
Mt  dkab  Huxt  —  The  little  gentlemaa 
that  sometimes  lurks  in  a  gossip's  bowl, 
ought  to  have  come  in  the  very  likeness  of 
a  roasted  crab,  and  choaked  me  outright  for 
not  answering  your  letter  ere  this:  how- 
ever, you  must  not  suppose  that  I  was  in 
town  to  receive  it:  no,  it  followed  me  to  the 
Isle  of  Wight,  and  I  got  it  just  as  I  was 
going  to  pack  up  for  Margate,  for  reasons 
which  you  anon  shall  hear.     On  arriving  at 
this  treeless  affair,  I  wrote  to  my  brother 
Greorge  to  request  C.  C.  C.  to  do  the  thing 
you  wot  of  respecting  Rimini;  and  George 
tells  me  he  has  undertaken  it  with  great 
pleasure;  so  I  hope  there  has  been  an  un- 
derstanding between  you  for  many  proofs: 
C.  C.  C.  is  well  acquainted  with  Bensley. 
Now  why  did  you  not  send  the  key  of  your 
cupboard,  which,  I  know,  was  full  of  pa- 
pers?   We  would  have  locked  them  all  in 
a  trunk,  together  with  those  you  told  me 
to  destroy,  which  indeed  I  did  not  do,  for 
fear  of  demolishing  receipts,  there  not  being 
a  more  unpleasant  thing  in  the  world  (saving 
a  thousand  and  one  others)  than  to  pay  a 
bill  twice.    Mind  you,  old  Wood 's  a  *  very 
varmint,'  shrouded  in  covetousness:  —  and 
now  I  am  upon  a  horrid  subject  —  what  a 
horrid  one  you  were  upon  last  Sunday,  and 
well  you  handled  it.    The  last  Examiner 
was  a  battering-ram  against  Christianify, 
blasphemy,  Tertullian,  Erasmus,  Sir  Philip 


v 


TO    LEIGH    HUNT 


ZS9 


&iaej;  uid  then  the  dreadful  Petzeliuns 
nai  their  expiation  b<r  blood;  and  do  Cliris- 
tiuM  ibadder  at  the  same  tiling  iu  a  iicw»- 
p^ier  irbich  thej  attribute  to  their  God  iu 
it*  nott  aggravated  form?  What  is  to  be 
tht  end  of  this?  I  maat  mention  Uazlitt's 
Sgolhej.^  O  that  be  had  left  out  the  grey 
bain;  or  that  thej  bad  been  in  any  other 
EMptr  not  coDcladiag  with  such  a.  thunder- 
^Uip !  That  sentence  about  uiakiug  a  page 
"f  tin  feeling  of  a  whole  life,  iippears  to  me 
'iic  k  whale's  liaok  iu  the  sea  of  prose. 
I  nu^ht  to  have  Haid  a  nord  on  Shak- 
*|wue'»  Christinnit;.  There  are  two  which 
I  Uie  not  looked  OTer  with  yoa,  toucbiug 
%Ik  thing:  the  one  for,  the  other  against: 
t*U  ID  favour  is  in  Meaaure  for  Measure, 
-4t(  II.  Scene  ii.— 

^^T.  all  the  aoulu  that  weie,  were  forfeit  once; 
Ati  Be  ihat  raig-ht  the  'vantage  beat  have  took, 
ttai  one  the  tcmedf. 


Maria.  Fnr  there  U  no  Christiiia  that  means 
*"  be  iBTed  hj  believing  rightlj.  can  evar  ba- 
Bna  neb  impunible  piusagea  of  grussness. 

Before  I  come  to  the  Njmpbs,*  I  mast 
KM  through  all  disagreeables.  I  went  to 
the  lale  of  Wight,  thought  so  much  about 
^Ifj,  ao  long  together,  that  I  conld  not 
(M  to  sleep  at  night;  and,  moreover,  I  know 
It  was,  I  could  not  get  wholesome 
.  Bj  tfaii  means,  in  a  week  or  so,  I  be- 
lt over  capable  in  my  upper  (tories, 
ri  wt  off  pell-mell  for  Margate,  at  least 
pkmdred  and  fifty  milos,  becanse,  forsooth, 
d  that  I  nhonld  like  my  old  lodging 
A  cuald  contrive  to  do  without  trees. 
r  thing,  1  was  too  much  in  soli- 
i*>>»d  oousequently  was  obliged  to  be  iu 
1  tniruing  of  thought,  aa  an  only 
However,  Tom  b  with  me  at 
ad  we  are  very  comfortable.  We 
I,  though,  to  get  among  some  trees, 
a  you  got  on  among  them?  How 
pfteNjinpha?  I  anppose  thcj  have  led 


you  a  fine  dance.  Where  are  you  now  ?  — 
ill  Judea,  Cappadocia,  or  the  parts  of  Libya 
about  Cjrene  ?  Stranger  from  '  Heaven, 
Hues,  and  Prototypes,'  I  wager  you  have 
given  several  new  turns  to  the  old  saying, 
'  Now  the  maid  was  fair  and  pleasant  to 
look  on,'  as  well  as  made  a  little  variation 
in  *  Once  upon  a  time.'  Perhaps,  too,  you 
have  rather  varied,  'Here  endeth  the  first 
lesson.'  Thus  I  bope  you  have  made  a 
horseshoe  business  of  '  unsuperfluons  life,' 
'faint  bowers,'  and  fibrous  roots.  I  vow 
that  1  have  been  down  in  the  mouth  lately 
at  this  work.  These  last  two  days,  how- 
ever, I  have  felt  more  confident  —  I  have 
asked  myself  so  often  why  I  should  be  a 
poet  mure  than  other  men,  seeing  how 
great  B  thing  it  is,  —  how  great  things  are 
to  be  gained  by  it,  what  a  thing  to  be  in 
the  mouth  of  Fame,  —  that  at  last  the  idea 
has  grown  so  monstrously  beyoud  my  seem- 
ing power  of  attainment,  that  the  other  day 
I  nearly  consented  with  myself  to  drop  into 
a  PhaotfaoD.  Yet  't  is  a  disgrace  to  fail, 
even  in  a  huge  attempt;  and  at  this  mo- 
ment I  drive  the  thought  from  me.  I  began 
my  poem  about  a  fortnight  since,  and  have 
done  soma  every  day,  eicopt  travelling 
ones.  Perhaps  I  may  have  done  a  good 
deal  for  the  time,  but  it  appears  such  n 
pin's  point  to  me,  that  I  will  not  copy  any 
out.  When  I  consider  that  so  many  of 
these  pin-points  go  to  form  a  bodkin-pMDt 
(God  send  I  end  not  my  life  with  a  liam 
bodkin,  in  its  modem  sense!),  and  that  it 
requires  a  thoiieand  bodkins  to  make  a  spear 
bright  enough  to  throw  any  light  to  pos- 
terity, I  soe  nothing  but  continnal  uphill 
journeying.  Now  is  there  anytluDg  more 
unpleasant  (it  may  come  among  the  thou- 
sand and  one)  than  to  be  so  jonmeying  and 
to  mi&s  the  goal  at  last  ?  But  I  inteud  to 
whistle  all  these  cogitatious  into  the  sea, 
where  I  hope  they  will  breed  storms  violent 
enough  to  block  up  all  exit  from  Bossia. 
Does  Shelley  go  on  telling  strange  stories 
of  the  deaths  of  kings  ? '  Tell  him,  there 
are  atfange  stories  of  the  deatha  of  poeta, 


26o 


LETTERS   OF  JOHN   KEATS 


Some  have  died  before  they  were  con- 
ceiyed.  'How  do  you  make  that  out, 
Master  Vellum  ? '  Does  Mrs.  S.  cut  bread 
and  butter  as  neatly  as  eyer  ?  Tell  her  to 
procure  some  fatal  scissors,  and  cut  the 
thread  of  life  of  all  to-be-disappointed 
poets.  Does  Mrs.  Hunt  tear  linen  as 
straight  as  eyer?  Tell  her  to  tear  from 
the  book  of  life  all  blank  leaves.  Remem- 
ber me  to  them  all;  to  Miss  Kent  and  the 
little  ones  all. 

Tour  sincere  Friend 

John  Keats  alias  Jukkets. 

Ton  shall  hear  where  we  move. 


8.  TO  BENJAMIN  BOBEBT  HATDON 

Biargate,  Saturday  Eve  [May  10,  1817]. 
Mt  Deab  Haydon, 

*  Let  Fame,  that  all  iMuat  after  in  their  lives. 
Live  r^^ster^d  upon  oar  brazen  tombs. 
And  so  grace  us  in  the  disgrace  of  death : 
When  spite  of  cormorant  deyonring  Time 
The  endeavour  of  this  present  breath  may  buy 
That  Honour  which  shall  bate  his  Scythe's  keen 

edge 
And  make  us  heirs  of  all  eternity.* 

Jjovt's  Labour  '5  Lost^  I.  i.  1 — 7. 

To  think  that  I  have  no  right  to  couple 
myself  with  you  in  this  speech  would  be 
death  to  me,  so  I  have  e'en  written  it,  and 
I  pray  Grod  that  our  'brazen  tombs'  be 
nigh  neighbours.  It  cannot  be  long  first ; 
the  '  endeavour  of  this  present  breath '  will 
soon  be  over,  and  yet  it  is  as  well  to  breathe 
freely  during  our  sojourn  —  it  is  as  well 
as  if  you  have  not  been  teased  with  that 
Money  affair,  that  bill-pestilence.  How- 
ever, I  must  think  that  difficulties  nerve 
the  Spirit  of  a  Man  —  they  make  our  Prime 
Objects  a  Refuge  as  well  as  a  Passion.  The 
Trumpet  of  Fame  is  as  a  tower  of  Strength, 
the  ambitious  bloweth  it  and  is  safe.  I  sup- 
pose, by  your  telling  me  not  to  g^ve  way  to 
foreboding^,  Greorge  has  mentioned  to  you 
what  I  have  lately  said  in  my  Letters  to 
him  —  truth  is  I  have  been  in  such  a  state 
of  Mind  as  to  read  over  my  Lines  and  hate 


them.  I  am  one  that  '  gathers  Samphire, 
dreadful  trade '  —  the  Cliff  of  Poesy 
towers  above  me  —  yet  when  Tom  who 
meets  with  some  of  Pope's  Homer  in  Plu- 
tarch's Lives  reads  some  of  those  to  me 
they  seem  like  Mice  to  mine.  I  read  and 
write  about  eight  hours  a  day.  There  is  an 
old  saying  *  well  begun  is  half  done '  — 
't  is  a  bad  one.  I  would  use  instead, '  Not 
begun  at  all  till  half  done; '  so  according  to 
that  I  haye  not  begun  my  Poem  and  conse- 
quently (k  priori)  can  say  nothing  about  it. 
Thank  God  I  I  do  begin  arduously  where 
I  leave  off,  notwithstanding  occasional  de- 
pressions ;  and  I  hope  for  the  support  of 
a  High  Power  while  I  climb  this  little  emi- 
nence, and  especially  in  my  Years  of  more 
momentous  Labour.  I  remember  your  say-  I 
ing  that  you  had  notions  of  a  good  Genius 
presiding  over  you.  I  have  of  late  had  the 
same  thought,  for  things  which  I  do  half  at 
Random  are  afterwards  confirmed  by  my 
judgment  in  a  dozen  features  of  Propriety. 
Is  it  too  daring  to  fancy  Shakspeare  this 
Presider  ?  When  in  the  Isle  of  Wight  I  met 
with  a  Shakspeare  in  the  Passage  of  the 
House  at  which  I  lodged  —  it  comes  nearer 
to  my  idea  of  him  than  any  I  have  seen  — 
I  was  but  there  a  Week,  yet  the  old  woman 
made  me  take  it  with  me  though  I  went  off 
in  a  hurry.  Do  you  not  think  this  b  omi- 
nous of  good  ?  I  am  glad  you  say  every 
man  of  great  views  is  at  times  tormented 
as  I  am. 

Sunday  after  [May  11] 
This  Morning  I  received  a  letter  from 
Greorge  by  which  it  appears  that  Money 
Troubles  are  to  follow  us  up  for  some  time 
to  come  —  perhaps  for  always  —  these  vexa- 
tions are  a  g^at  hindrance  to  one  —  they 
are  not  like  Envy  and  detraction  stimulants 
to  further  exertion  as  being  immediately 
relative  and  reflected  on  at  the  same  time 
with  the  prime  object  —  but  rather  like  a 
nettle  leaf  or  two  in  your  bed.  So  now  I 
revoke  my  Promise  of  finishing  my  Poem 
by  the  Autumn  which  I  should  have  done 
had  I  gone  on  as  I  have  done  —  but  I  ean 


TO  BENJAMIN  ROBERT  HAYDON 


261 


not  write  while  my  spirit  is  fevered  in  a 
contrary  direction  and  I  am  now  sure  of 
having  plenty  of  it  this  Summer.  At  this 
moment  I  am  in  no  enviable  Situation  — 
I  feel  that  I  am  not  in  a  Mood  to  write 
any  to-day;  and  it  appears  that  the  loss  of 
it  is  the  beginning  of  all  sorts  of  irregu- 
larities. I  am  extremely  glad  that  a  time 
must  come  when  everything  will  leave  not 
a  wrack  behind.  You  tell  me  never  to 
despair  —  I  wish  it  was  as  easy  for  me  to 
observe  the  saying  —  truth  is  I  have  a 
horrid  Morbidity  of  Temperament  which 
has  shown  itself  at  intervals  —  it  is  I  have 
no  doubt  the  greatest  Enemy  and  stumbling- 
block  I  have  to  fear  —  I  may  even  say  that 
it  is  likely  to  be  the  cause  of  my  disappoint- 
ment. However  every  ill  has  its  share  of 
good — this  very  bane  would  at  any  time 
enable  me  to  look  with  an  obstinate  eye  on 
the  Devil  Himself  —  aye  to  be  as  proud  of 
being  the  lowest  of  the  human  race  as 
Alfred  could  be  in  being  of  the  highest. 
I  feel  confident  I  should  have  been  a  rebel 
angel  had  the  opportunity  been  mine.  I  am 
very  sure  that  you  do  love  me  as  your  very 
Brother  —  I  have  seen  it  in  your  continual 
anxiety  for  me  —  and  I  assure  you  that 
your  welfare  and  fame  is  and  will  be  a 
chief  pleasure  to  me  all  my  Life.  I  know 
no  one  but  you  who  can  be  fully  sensible  of 
the  turmoil  and  anxiety,  the  sacrifice  of  all 
what  is  called  comfort,  the  readiness  to 
measure  time  by  what  is  done  and  to  die  in 
six  hours  could  plans  be  brought  to  conclu- 
sions —  the  looking  upon  the  Sun,  the  Moon, 
the  Stars,  the  Earth  and  its  contents,  as 
materials  to  form  gpreater  things  —  that  is 
to  say  ethereal  things  —  but  here  I  am 
talking  like  a  Madman,  —  greater  things 
than  our  Creator  himself  made  ! ! 

I  wrote  to  Hunt  yesterday  —  scarcely 
know  what  I  said  in  it.  I  could  not  talk 
about  Poetry  in  the  way  I  should  have  liked 
for  I  was  not  in  humor  with  either  his  or 
mine.  His  self-delusions  are  very  lament- 
able —  they  have  enticed  him  into  a  Situa- 
tion which  I  should  be  less  eager  after  than 


that  of  a  galley  Slave  —  what  you  observe 
thereon  is  very  true  must  be  in  time. 

Perhaps  it  is  a  self-delusion  to  say  so  — 
but  I  think  I  could  not  be  deceived  in  the 
manner  that  Hunt  is  —  may  I  die  to- 
morrow if  I  am  to  be.  There  is  no  grater 
Sin  after  the  seven  deadly  than  to  flatter 
oneself  into  an  idea  of  being  a  great  Poet 
— or  one  of  those  beings  who  are  privilege 
to  wear  out  their  Lives  in  the  pursuit  of 
Honor  —  how  comfortable  a  feel  it  is  to  feel 
that  such  a  Crime  must  bring  its  heavy 
Penalty?  That  if  one  be  a  Self-deluder 
accounts  must  be  balanced  ?  I  am  glad 
you  are  hard  at  Work  —  't  will  now  soon 
be  done  —  I  long  to  see  Wordsworth's  as 
well  as  to  have  mine  in:  ^  but  I  would 
rather  not  show  my  face  in  Town  till  the 
end  of  the  Tear — if  that  will  be  time 
enough — if  not  I  shall  be  disappointed  if 
you  do  not  write  for  me  even  when  you  » 
think  best.  I  never  quite  despair  and  I  read  / 
Shakspeare — indeed  I  shall  I  think  never  ^ 
read  any  other  Book  much.  Now  this  might 
lead  me  into  a  long  Confab  but  I  desist.  . 
I  am  very  near  agreeing  with  Hazlitt  that  \/ 
Shakspeare  is  enough  for  us.  By  the  by 
what  a  tremendous  Southean  article  his  last 
was  —  I  wish  he  had  left  out  *gTej  hairs.' 
It  was  very  gratifying  to  meet  your  re- 
marks on  the  manuscript  —  I  was  reading 
Anthony  and  Cleopatra  when  I  got  the 
Paper  and  there  are  several  Passages  ap- 
plicable to  the  events  you  commentate. 
You  say  that  he  arrived  by  degrees  and  not 
by  any  single  struggle  to  the  height  of  his 
ambition  —  and  that  his  Life  had  been  as 
common  in  particulars  as  other  Men's. 
Shakspeare  makes  Enobarb  say  — 

Where's  Antony? 
Eros,  —  He 's  walking^  in  the  firarden,  and 
spvrru 
The  rusk  that  lies  before  him ;  cries,  Fool,  Le- 
pidusl 

In  the  same  scene  we  find  — 

Let  detennined  things 
To  destiny  hold  nnbewailed  their  way. 


262 


LETTERS   OF  JOHN   KEATS 


Dolabella  says  of  Anthony's  Messenger, 

An  argnmeDt  that  he  is  plnok'd  when  hither 
He  sends  so  poor  a  pinion  of  his  wing. 

Then  again  — 

Sno.  —  I  see  Men's  Jads:ment8  are 
A  parcel  of  their  fortunes ;  and  things  outward 
Do  draw  the  inward  quality  after  them, 
To  suffer  all  alike. 

The  following  applies  well  to  Bertrand  *  — 

Tet  he  that  can  endure 
To  follow  with  allegiance  a  fallen  Lord, 
Does  conquer  him  that  did  his  Master  conquer. 
And  earns  a  place  i'  the  story. 

Bat  how  differently  does  Buonaparte  bear 
his  fate  from  Anthony  f 

Hi  is  good,  too,  that  the  Doke  of  Welling- 
ton has  a  good  Word  or  so  in  the  Examiner. 
A  man  ought  to  have  the  Fame  be  deserves 
—  and  I  begin  to  think  that  detracting 
from  him  as  well  as  from  Wordsworth  is 
the  same  thing.  I  wish  he  had  a  little  more 
taste  —  and  did  not  in  that  respect  '  deal 
in  Lieutenantry.'  You  should  have  heard 
from  me  before  this  —  but  in  the  first  place 
I  did  not  like  to  do  so  before  I  had  got  a 
little  way  in  the  First  Book,  and  in  the 
next  as  G.  told  mo  you  were  going  to  write 
I  delayed  till  I  had  heard  from  you.  Give 
my  Respects  the  next  time  you  write  to  the 
North  and  also  to  John  Hunt.  Remember 
me  to  Reynolds  and  tell  him  to  write.  Ay, 
and  when  you  send  Westward  tell  your 
Sister  that  I  mentioned  her  in  this.  So  now 
in  the  name  of  Shakspeare,  Raphael  and 
all  our  Saints,  I  commend  you  to  the  care 
of  heaven ! 

Tour  everlasting  Friend  John  Keats. 

9.      TO  MESSRS.  TAYLOR  AND  HE8SET 

Margate,  May  16, 1817. 
My  dear  Sirs  — I  am  extremely  indebted 
to  you  for  your  liberality  in  the  shape  of 
manufactured  rag,  value  £20,  and  shall  im- 
mediately proceed  to  destroy  some  of  the 
minor  heads  of  that  hydra  the  dun;  to  con- 
quer which  the  knight  need  have  no  Sword 


Shield  Cuirass,  Coisses  Herbadgeoa  Spetr 
Casque  Greaves  Paldrona  spurs  Chevron  or 
any  other  scaly  commodity,  but  he  seed 
only  take  the  Bank-note  of  Faith  and  Caak 
of  Salvation,  and  set  oat  against  the  moB- 
ster,  invoking  the  aid  of  no  Arehtmago  or 
Urganda,  but  finger  me  the  paper,  light  as 
the  Sibyl's  leaves  in  Virgil^  whereat  the 
fiend  skulks  o£F  with  his  tul  between  hit 
legs.  Touch  him  with  this  enchanted  pspe^f 
and  he  whips  you  his  head  away  as  fait 
as  a  snail's  horn  —  but  then  the  horrid 
propensity  he  has  to  put  it  up  again  hai 
discouraged  many  very  valiant  Knights.  He 
is  such  a  never-ending  still-beginning  iort 
of  a  body  —  like  my  landlady  of  the  BeQ. 
I  should  conjecture  that  the  very  spright 
that  <  the  green  sour  ringlets  makes  Wheie* 
of  the  ewe  not  bites '  had  mannfaetnred  ii 
of  the  dew  fallen  on  said  soar  ringlets.  I 
think  I  could  make  a  nice  little  allegorieal 
poem,  called  *  The  Bun/  where  we  would 
have  the  Castle  of  Carelessness,  the  ditv- 
bridge  of  credit.  Sir  Novelty  Fasbiot^ 
expedition  against  the  City  of  Tailors,  ola 
etc.  I  went  day  by  day  at  my  poem  ftf> 
Month — at  the  end  of  which  time  the  otiief 
day  I  found  my  Brain  so  over-wrought  tbst 
I  had  neither  rhyme  nor  reason  in  it— so 
was  oblig^  to  give  up  for  a  few  dajs.  I 
hope  soon  to  be  able  to  resume  my  work— 
I  have  endeavoured  to  do  so  once  or  twiet; 
but  to  no  purpose.  Instead  of  Poetry,! 
have  a  swimming  in  my  head  and  feel  sD 
the  effects  of  a  Mental  debauch,  lowne*  sf 
Spirits,  anxiety  to  go  on  without  the  povtf 
to  do  so,  which  does  not  at  all  tend  to  BQf 
ultimate  prog^ression.  However  tomorrof 
I  will  begin  my  next  month.  This  etenny 
I  go  to  Canterbury,  having  got  tired  of 
Margate.  I  was  not  right  in  my  head  whes 
I  came  —  At  Canterbury  I  hope  the  rtvaao' 
brance  of  Chaucer  will  set  me  forward  ^^ 
a  Billiard  Ball.  I  am  glad  to  hear  of  Mr* 
T.'s  health,  and  of  the  welfare  of  the  'In- 
to wn-stayers.'  And  think  Reynolds  wiH 
like  his  Trip  —  I  have  some  idea  of  seeio^ 
the  Continent  some  time  this  summer.    I^ 


7t 


TO   MARIANE  AND  JANE   REYNOLDS 


263 


repeating  how  sensible  I  am  of  your  kind- 
ness, I  remain 

Y'  obed*  serv'  and  friend  John  Keats. 

I  shall  be  happj  to  hear  any  little  intelli- 
gence in  the  literary  or  friendly  way  when 
yoa  have  time  to  scribble. 


10.      TO  THE  SAME  ' 

[London]  Tuesday  Mom  [July  8, 1817]. 

I^iY  DEAR  Sots  —  I  mast  endeavour  to 
lose  my  maidenhead  with  respect  to  money 
Matters  as  soon  as  possible — And  I  will 
too  —  So,  here  goes  I  A  couple  of  Duns 
that  I  thought  would  be  silent  till  the 
beginning,  at  least,  of  next  month  (when  I 
am  certain  to  be  on  my  legs,  for  certain 
sure),  have  opened  upon  me  with  a  cry 
most  '  untuneable ; '  never  did  you  hear 
such  im-'  gallant  chiding.'  Now  you  must 
know,  I  am  not  desolate,  but  have,  thank 
God,  25  good  notes  in  my  fob.  But  then, 
yon  know,  I  laid  them  by  to  write  with  and 
would  stand  at  bay  a  fortnight  ere  they 
should  g^b  me.  In  a  month's  time  I  must 
pay,  but  it  would  relieve  my  mind  if  I  owed 
you,  instead  of  these  Pelican  duns. 

I  am  afraid  you  will  say  I  have  '  wound 
about  with  circumstance,'  when  I  should 
have  asked  plainly  —  however  as  I  said  I 
am  a  little  maidenish  or  so,  and  I  feel  my 
virginity  come  strong  upon  me,  the  while 
I  request  the  loan  of  a  £20  and  a  £10, 
which,  if  you  would  enclose  to  me,  I  would 
acknowledge  and  save  myself  a  hot  fore- 
head. I  am  sure  you  are  confident  of  my 
responsibility,